Coronavirus Global Updates: A US panel of experts undercut an emergency authorisation on plasma treatment issued just days ago by the Food and Drug Administration, saying there’s not enough evidence to recommend the therapy for hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Australia’s hot spot Victoria state on Wednesday extended its state of emergency for another six months as its weekly average of new COVID-10 infections dipped to 95. The U.N. Security Council will hold a high-level summit during the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly later this month to discuss “adjustments” to the current international system after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Meanwhile, schools reopened across Europe amid social distancing protocols.
Globally, there are over 25.7 million cases, and 8.57 lakh deaths.
Covid-19 news from across the globe
Nepal extends prohibitory orders for 1 more week in Kathmandu
The authorities in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu have extended the prohibitory orders for another week until September 9, in view of the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the valley’s three districts. The two week-long prohibitory order imposed by the authorities in Kathmandu expires on Wednesday midnight. A virtual meeting of the Chief District Officers of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur took the decision.
With 388 new cases of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, Kathmandu valley’s COVID-19 tally has crossed 6,000, according to the Ministry of Health and Population. Nepal has allowed international flights’ operation from September 1 to bring in its citizens stranded across the world due to the pandemic.
Europe CDC: Virus spread slow so far in schools
The head of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be spreading significantly in schools that opened early in Europe.
Many students returned to classrooms around Europe this week, but some partly opened before the end of June. A few countries, such as Germany, opened their doors for the new school year in August. ECDC director Andrea Ammon told EU lawmakers Wednesday that anti-virus measures like social-distancing, hand washing, avoiding mass gatherings and the confinement of suspect cases among students and staff should be enough to limit the spread of the disease. She made no mention of wearing masks.
Ammon says, “closing the schools should be really the last measure that you take.” Belgium has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world from the coronavirus. Nearly 10,000 people have died in a country of 11.5 million. Belgium has 85,393 cases, according to the ECDC.
US says it won’t join global effort to find COVID-19 vaccine
The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine because it does not want to be constrained by multilateral groups like the World Health Organization. The decision to go it alone, first reported by The Washington Post, follows the White House’s decision in early July to pull the United States out of the WHO. Trump claims the WHO is in need of reform and is heavily influenced by China.
The Japanese government, meanwhile, is considering offering the coronavirus vaccine for free to all citizens, Kyodo news reported on Wednesday. The government has said it aims to secure enough coronavirus vaccines for every citizen by the middle of next year.
Thailand marks 100 days without local Covid case
Thailand has reported no locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases for 100 straight days, joining a small group of places like Taiwan where the pathogen has been virtually eliminated. Like Taiwan and New Zealand, another country that made it past 100 days before local infections re-emerged, Thailand has relied on strictly-policed borders that have been closed to foreigners for months, a strategy that has devastated a tourism industry which accounted for 20% of Thailand’s pre-pandemic economy. The government has said it will open the borders to tourists again ahead of the northern hemisphere winter, but has yet to release many details about how it will do so safely.
Trump says China had more deaths than reported
US President Donald Trump said thousands more people have died from the coronavirus in China than the Beijing government has acknowledged. “They lost tens of thousands of people,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham, without citing any evidence. “They lost more than any other country, they just don’t report it.” When Ingraham asked Trump how he knows the number of virus deaths in China, the president changed the subject. China has reported 4,724 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University — far fewer than the 184,644 deaths in the U.S., which has the highest number in the world.
Australia falls into its first recession since 1991
Australia’s economy, which dodged the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the Dot-Com Bubble and the 2008 global financial crisis, fell into its first recession in almost three decades, buffeted by Victoria state’s renewed Covid outbreak and lockdown. Gross domestic product plunged 7% from the first three months of the year, the first back-to-back quarterly declines since 1991, statistics bureau data showed. Economists had forecast a 6% drop.
Older patients drive South Korean surge in critical COVID-19 cases
More than 40% of new coronavirus cases in South Korea are being found in people over the age of 60, contributing in part to a surge in the number of COVID-19 patients who are severely or critically ill, health authorities said on Wednesday. South Korea is battling a second wave of infection, centred in the capital Seoul and surrounding areas which are home to 25 million people. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 267 new cases as of midnight on Tuesday, a slight increase over the day before. Overall, South Korea has reported 20,449 cases and 326 deaths.
NYC delays start of school for more prep time for virus safety measures
New York City is delaying the start of its school year until Sept. 16 to give teachers more time to prepare for the return of students amid the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the deal struck with unions representing teachers, staff and administrators. Instruction was supposed to begin on Sept. 10. All students will spend the first few days learning from home online before in-person instruction begins for some students on Sept. 21.
The city’s plan to restart schools includes mask-wearing, staggered schedules to reduce the number of students in rooms, supplying every school building with a nurse and asking all staffers to get tested shortly before school starts. A medical monitoring program will includes random virus testing for a sampling of students and staff each month.
Cuba closes off Havana to stamp-out spread of coronavirus
Cuban authorities ordered a strict 15-day lockdown of Havana on Tuesday seeking to stamp out the low-level but persistent spread of the novel coronavirus in the capital. Aggressive anti-virus measures including closing down air travel have virtually eliminated COVID-19 in Cuba with the exception of Havana, where cases have surged from a handful a day to dozens daily over the last month. Starting Tuesday, Havana is under a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Most stores are barred from selling to shoppers from outside the immediate neighbourhood in order to discourage people from moving around the city.
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