Latest about pandemic coronavirus. COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can cause more severe illness or death.
– Epidemiologists estimate ‘relatively flat summers’ in Britain
– Slovenian grade 3 students quarantined after classmates’ test results were positive.
– Cases exceed 35,000 in South Africa, most around Cape Town.
LONDON – A prominent epidemiologist whose work has greatly influenced the closing steps of Britain says the coronavirus outbreak in the UK is unlikely to worsen during the summer but the outlook from September is “very unclear.”
Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London said he expects the rate of transmission of the corona virus and cases to “remain relatively flat between now and September, short of enormous policy changes or changes in behavior in society.”
He told a lawmaking committee at the House of Lords on Tuesday that “real uncertainty” would occur in September, the time of the year when the respiratory virus tends to begin to spread more strongly.
Ferguson resigned from his position as government adviser last month after receiving disclosure that he violated the rules of social distance.
Ferguson leads the team that models the spread and impact of the coronavirus. Team data was instrumental in pushing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose lockdown on March 23.
Lockouts are being loosened up in the UK, the fastest in the UK, raising concern among many health officials of a potential surge in a second infection.
LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – Health authorities in Slovenia say the first elementary school students have tested positive for the corona virus since children started returning to school two weeks ago.
A school in the city of Maribor said on Tuesday that 17 classmates and grade 3 teachers were placed under quarantine for two weeks.
Health authorities say a child with a virus is likely to get the virus from within the family and contact tracing is ongoing.
The official STA news agency said it was the first confirmed virus case since April 30 in the second largest city in Slovenia.
Slovenia has announced an end to the outbreak and began reducing anti-virus restrictions in mid-May.
The small European Union country has reported 1,475 confirmed cases and 109 deaths since early March.
JOHANNESBURG – Total confirmed corona virus cases in South Africa have jumped to more than 35,000 while the province moored by Cape Town remains an alarming hot spot with more than 23,000.
South Africa has the most confirmed cases of the virus from any country in Africa. The African Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the total number in the whole continent is now above 152,000.
South Africa took another step in reducing lock restrictions on Monday with alcohol sales allowed again. The authorities have warned that the rate of new cases is expected to increase.
South Africa has doubled cases every 12 days while cases in the Western Cape have doubled every nine days.
A major test will be held this weekend because places of worship are allowed to operate with 50 people, despite warnings from several religious leaders about the risk of spreading the virus.
MOSCOW – Two major Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Moscow have reopened their doors as officials take more steps to ease the locking up of the country’s coronavirus.
Cathedral of Christ the Savior and Epiphani Cathedral in Yelokhovo welcomed parishioners again on Tuesday.
The move was coordinated with federal and city officials. Church attendees should wear medical masks and maintain a proper distance from others during the service.
Other churches in the Russian capital are scheduled to reopen on Saturday. Moscow churches have been closed to people since April 13.
Orthodox churches in many other regions throughout the vast country have been reopened when the provincial government began to lift restrictions intended to stem the plague.
Russian officials say that the country is now passing the peak of transmission, making it safe to gradually ease locking in. Some experts warn that with new cases being confirmed increasing by around 9,000 every day, lifting restrictions is quickly dangerous.
CODOGNO, Italy – The Italian president has placed a reminder in the cemetery of the city of Lombardy, where the first coronavirus case that was transmitted domestically in Italy was confirmed on February 21.
President Sergio Mattarella expressed solidarity with the families of people who had died during the pandemic, saying their wounds could only be healed with memories, remembering names, faces, stories. ‘
He said a way must be found to preserve their memories.
Mattarella traveled to the city of Codogno on the occasion of the celebration of the Republic of Italy Day. Earlier Tuesday, he laid a wreath at the Victor Emmanuel II Monument in Rome, which served as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the nation.
Italy, the first western country affected by this virus, has recorded 33,475 deaths and 233,197 confirmed cases.
JOHANNESBURG – African coronavirus cases have exceeded 150,000 while the World Health Organization says the continent of 1.3 billion people is still the least affected region.
Concerns remain high because some of 54 African countries struggle with when to reopen schools and part of their economy.
Rwanda, the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to impose lockdowns, this week slowed easing after reporting its first COVID-19 death.
More than 4,300 deaths have been confirmed across continents due to increased virus transmission locally and testing materials and medical equipment are still in short supply in many places.
The UK statistics agency said the number of corona-related deaths in the UK until the week ending May 22 was 48,106.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics come after recording 2,589 weekly deaths involving the corona virus in England and Wales. Even though it was the lowest in seven weeks, the virus still accounted for 21.1% of all deaths.
Daily figures provided by the government have COVID-related deaths just above 39,000. These figures are based on the initial cause of death assessment while those from the statistical body are collected from death registries, which can take several weeks to issue.
The agency also said there were 2,348 more deaths in England and Wales during the week than an average of five years. Excess death is widely considered the best measure of the impact of viruses because they provide clear guidance over historical periods and include all causes of death.
Statistician Nick Stripe said there were 62,000 deaths throughout Britain.
BERLIN – Berlin’s leading health official said he was surprised by a weekend meeting to support the closed city clubs that brought up to 1,500 people together and organizers who ended because participants did not obey distancing rules.
Demonstrators gathered in a city canal on Sunday, with 300 to 400 small boats and by the river, with loud music. The city’s health minister, Dilek Kalayci, said on Tuesday that he understood the financial difficulties of the nightclub, but noted that help was available and said the weekend’s events were “greatly ignored” while the pandemic continued. He said “this is not the time for the party.”
Germany began reducing coronavirus restrictions in late April and continued to do so despite concerns over local outbreaks related to slaughterhouses, church services and restaurants.
In the latest case, at least 68 people tested positive in downtown Goettingen after a private family party.
HARARE, Zimbabwe – State media say Zimbabwe has confirmed its first corona virus case in prison, with four inmates and two guards positive.
The Herald newspaper said authorities declared prisons in Plumtree, which borders Botswana, and in Beitbridge, which borders South Africa, as “areas that should not be visited.” The authorities have also suspended movement out of prisons throughout the country, resulting in several prisoners failing to attend court hearings.
Zimbabwe cases more than doubled in the past week to more than 200, with most new infections in centers where people crossing the border were quarantined. Most returned from Botswana and South Africa, which housed millions of Zimbabweans who have fled economic chaos in recent years.
South Africa has more than 34,000 cases of the virus, the most in Africa. Zimbabwe’s health ministry says refugees are returning to be the biggest virus threat. Those arrested for illegally crossing the border were put in jail in Plumtree and Beitbridge. Zimbabwe previously freed more than 4,000 prisoners to reduce overcrowding in facilities with weak health systems. Around 18,000 people are still behind bars.
LAHORE, Pakistan – A leaked government document reveals authorities are ignoring experts who want a month-long lockout in Pakistan’s Punjab province and who estimate that 670,000 may have been infected in the provincial capital of Lahore.
After the media published an expert report Tuesday, residents criticized the government for reducing restrictions last month instead of heeding recommendations.
The report is based on a sample survey conducted in Lahore, which had 245 deaths as of May 15. Since then, Punjab has reported nearly 200 more deaths related to COVID-19.
The document comes hours before Prime Minister Imran Khan eased more coronavirus restrictions imposed in March, saying Pakistanis must learn how to live with the virus because locking does not cure the disease.
Pakistan has registered 1,621 deaths amid 76,398 cases.
SINGAPORE – Singapore has reopened 75% of its economy as part of a three-phase controlled approach to ending virus locking since early April.
Finance, electronics manufacturing, and logistics are some of the sectors that restart operations after a two-month closure with stringent security requirements. Schools will also be reopened gradually this month. But most retail stores, personal services, restaurant meals and social gatherings are still prohibited.
“It feels like I’ve returned to where it should be. As you know, people start to see people again, and work again. It feels good, “said Firman Hanif, who works at a security company.
The prosperous city-state has more than 35,000 cases, one of the highest in Asia. More than 90 percent of cases involve foreign workers living in crowded dorms. The government says it will only lift further restrictions if infection remains low.
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea has reported 38 new cases of COVID-19, all except one in the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul.
The figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday brought the national total to 11,541 cases and 272 deaths.
Hundreds of cases have been linked to workplaces, including call centers and large warehouses operated by local e-commerce giant Coupang, which officials say fail to enforce preventive measures correctly. At least two dozen cases have been linked to churches near the capital Seoul, including the death of a follower in his 70s.
Incheon, a port city west of Seoul, banned meetings in more than 4,200 churches and other religious facilities. Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds the capital, issued administrative orders to close warehouses, funeral homes and marriage halls.
Health Minister Park Neunghoo during an anti-virus meeting on Tuesday appealed to churchgoers and hospital and nursing home employees to avoid unnecessary meetings to reduce the risk of infection for elderly residents and others who are medically vulnerable.
BEIJING – China reported five new cases of the corona virus, all brought by Chinese citizens from abroad.
No new deaths were reported on Tuesday, while 73 people remained in care for COVID-19 and 373 were under surveillance and isolation to show signs of the virus or have tested positive for it without showing symptoms. China has recorded a total of 4,634 deaths among 83,022 cases of this disease.
China reopened schools this week and many economies have regained their regular footing, despite social distance and other measures to prevent a second wave of a virus outbreak that was first detected late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry once again defended the handling of the country’s outbreak against accusations of incompetence from the Trump administration which focused on its failure to prevent people from leaving Wuhan earlier than January 23 when the city was locked.
“This statement is totally inconsistent with the fact, which highly disrespects the extraordinary efforts of the Chinese people and its sacrifice in controlling and preventing epidemics,” ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
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