- Africa’s coronavirus cases have surpassed 150,000, Zimbabwe confirms first virus cases in prisons.
- WHO says cases rising in Russia and eastern Europe, Berlin health official criticizes club gathering.
- Health experts worry South America’s reopening and U.S. protests could spread virus.
- Singapore reopens more of its economy, South Korea sets new curbs.
The novel coronavirus has infected nearly 6.3 million people worldwide, with more than 375,000 recorded deaths, according to a case tracking tool maintained by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. accounts for more than 1.8 million of the recorded cases, and more than 105,00 deaths.
As of 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 91,705 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases, with 49,739 of those listed by provinces as recovered or resolved. A tally of deaths maintained by CBC News based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 7,386.
Here’s a look at what’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada on Tuesday:
COVID-19, the illness caused by a novel coronavirus that was first reported in China, causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
Read on for a look at what’s happening with the coronavirus around the world.
Africa’s coronavirus cases have surpassed 150,000, while the World Health Organization (WHO) says the continent of 1.3 billion people is still the region least affected.
Concerns remain high as some of Africa’s 54 countries struggle with when to reopen schools and parts of their economies. More than 4,300 deaths have been confirmed across the continent as local transmission of the virus increases and testing materials and medical equipment remain in short supply in many places.
Rwanda, the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to impose a lockdown, this week slowed the easing of the measures after reporting its first COVID-19 death.
In Zimbabwe, state media has confirmed its first coronavirus cases in prisons, with four inmates and two guards testing positive. The Herald newspaper says authorities declared the prisons in Plumtree, which borders Botswana, and in Beitbridge, which borders South Africa, as “no-go areas.” Authorities also have suspended movement out of prisons countrywide, resulting in some prisoners failing to attend court hearings.
Zimbabwe’s cases more than doubled in the past week to over 200, with most new infections at centres where people crossing the border are quarantined. Most are returning from Botswana and South Africa, which host millions of Zimbabweans who fled economic turmoil in recent years.
South Africa has more than 34,000 virus cases, the most in Africa. Zimbabwe’s health ministry says the returnees pose the biggest virus threat. Those arrested for illegal border crossings are put into the prisons in Plumtree and Beitbridge. Zimbabwe earlier released more than 4,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding in facilities where health systems are weak. About 18,000 people are still behind bars.
New cases of COVID-19 reported daily are steadily declining in western Europe, but not in hot spots in Russia and eastern Europe, WHO said on Tuesday.
“At the moment in Europe, in western Europe, we are seeing a steady decline. It’s not speedy but there’s a steady decline in new cases being reported daily. So that means that the number of new cases are still significant, but the number is coming down except for Russia and eastern Europe, where we are still seeing the rise,” spokesperson Margaret Harris told a briefing.
Russia has reported 423,741 cases, the world’s third-highest reported total, including 5,037 deaths.
Harris said she had no information on whether talks were still taking place with the Trump administration, which announced last Friday that it was leaving the agency over its handling of the pandemic. “I have no information on whether we were formally notified,” she said.
Berlin’s top health official says she is appalled by a weekend gathering in support of the city’s shuttered clubs that brought up to 1,500 people together and which organizers ended because participants weren’t keeping to distancing rules.
The demonstrators gathered on a city canal Sunday in 300 to 400 small boats and on the banks, with loud music. The city’s health minister, Dilek Kalayci, said Tuesday she understands nightclubs’ financial difficulties, but noted that aid is available and said the weekend event was “grossly negligent” while the pandemic continues. “This is not the time for parties,” she said.
Germany started easing its coronavirus restrictions in late April and is continuing to do so despite some concern over local outbreaks linked to slaughterhouses, a church service and a restaurant.
In the latest case, at least 68 people tested positive in the central city of Goettingen after private family parties.
South American countries at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic are choosing to reopen even as case numbers rise, ignoring the example set by Europe in which nations waited for the worst to pass.
Experts are concerned about what’s happening in South America.
“There is a rapid increase in cases, and those (health) systems are coming under increasing pressure,” said Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program.
In the U.S., there are concerns that protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man pinned at the neck by a white police officer, could cause new outbreaks in a nation where the virus has disproportionately affected racial minorities.
And a new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office cautioned the damage to the world’s largest economy could amount to nearly $16 trillion US over the next decade if Congress doesn’t work to mitigate the fallout.
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California’s state prison system has had its first known staff death due to the coronavirus. California Rehabilitation Center Correctional Officer Danny Mendoza died Saturday in Riverside County after recently testing positive for the virus.
The prison department says more than 300 state corrections department employees have tested positive, but more than half of those have returned to work. An inmate at the California Institution for Men in San Bernardino County died Sunday at an outside hospital from what appear to be coronavirus complications. It would be the 10th such inmate death, all at the same prison. Officials did not release more information on the inmate, citing medical privacy rules.
Singapore has reopened 75 per cent of its economy as part of a three-phase controlled approach to end a virus lockdown in place since early April.
Finance, electronics manufacturing and logistics are among sectors that resumed operations after a two-month closure with strict safety requirements. Schools will also reopen in stages this month. But most retail shops, personal services, dining in at restaurants and social gatherings are still banned.
“It feels like it has come back to where it should be. Like you know, people start to see people again, and working again. It feels good,” said Firman Hanif, who works in a security firm.
The affluent city-state has more than 35,000 cases, one of the highest in Asia. More than 90 per cent of cases involved foreign workers living in crowded dormitories. The government says it will only lift further restrictions if infections remain low.
South Korea has reported 38 new cases of COVID-19, all but one in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.
The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought national totals to 11,541 cases and 272 deaths.
Hundreds of cases have been linked to workplaces, including call centres and a massive warehouse operated by local e-commerce giant Coupang, which officials say failed to properly enforce preventive measures. At least two-dozen cases have been linked to churches near the capital Seoul, including a death of a member in his 70s.
Health Minister Park Neunghoo pleaded with churchgoers and employees of hospitals and nursery homes during an anti-virus meeting on Tuesday to avoid unnecessary gatherings to reduce infection risks for senior citizens and others who are medically vulnerable.