Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on June 29

CBC

The latest:

More than 10 million confirmed COVID-19 cases reported globally. Some U.S. Republicans break from Trump’s stance and urge mask use. South Korea sees infections steadily climb in the greater capital area. Nigeria moves to ease domestic travel restrictions starting July 1. U.K. reimposes lockdown on city of Leicester after a spike in cases.

Arizona’s Republican governor shut down bars, movie theatres, gyms and water parks Monday, and leaders in several U.S. states ordered residents to wear masks in public in a dramatic course reversal amid an alarming resurgence of coronavirus cases nationwide.

Across the U.S., fellow Republicans in a rare split from mask-averse U.S. President Donald Trump are making public pushes for face coverings as cases surge in some GOP-leaning states.

Among those implementing the face-covering orders is the city of Jacksonville, Fla., where Trump plans to accept the Republican nomination in August. Less than a week after Mayor Lenny Curry, a Republican, said there would be no mask requirement, city officials announced that coverings must be worn in “situations where individuals cannot socially distance.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, has opposed a statewide mask requirement but said in response to Jacksonville’s action that he will support local authorities who are doing what they think is appropriate.

WATCH | Surge in new COVID-19 cases prompt tougher restrictions in Florida:

Florida saw more than 18,000 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend and officials are tightening restrictions ahead of Independence Day celebrations. We spoke to Mayor Tracy Upchurch of St. Augustine, Fla., a city that made wearing face masks mandatory over the weekend. 6:44

Vice-President Mike Pence encouraged Americans to wear masks during a visit to Texas on Sunday. In a Monday conference call with Pence and members of the White House coronavirus task force, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert — another Republican — asked the vice-president and Trump to issue a national call to wear masks.

Trump has refused to wear a mask during visits to states and businesses that require them. He has said he cannot picture himself in a mask while greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens.”

“Somehow, I don’t see it for myself,” he said at a briefing in April. He also has said he did not want to give journalists the pleasure of seeing him wear one.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey’s order went into effect immediately and would remain in effect for at least 30 days. Ducey also also ordered public schools to delay the start of classes at least until Aug. 17 instead of early August.

“Our expectation is that our numbers next week will be worse,” he said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is seen wearing a protective face mask and using hand sanitizer at a news conference in Phoenix on Monday. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP)

Most Arizona bars and nightclubs opened after Ducey’s stay-at-home and business closure orders were allowed to expire in mid-May.

The state is not alone in its reversal. Places such as Texas, Florida and California are backtracking, closing beaches and bars in some cases amid a resurgence of the virus.

Oregon and Kansas, meanwhile, announced Monday that everyone would be required to wear masks in public.

WATCH | California restaurants face more closures amid virus spike:

California restaurant manager Ashley Gardner, whose business remains open, says people are getting used to what their dining and drinking options will be as the state contends with a surge in coronavirus cases. 0:35

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that he’s postponing the restarting of indoor dining because people have not been wearing face masks or complying with recommendations for social distancing. New Jersey has been slowly reopening, and on Monday, indoor shopping malls were cleared to start business again.

In Texas, a group of bar owners sued on Monday to try to overturn Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s order closing their businesses. They contend Abbott doesn’t have the authority, and they complained that other businesses, such as nail salons and tattoo studios, remain open.

The U.S. on Monday reported 38,800 newly confirmed infections, with the total surpassing 2.5 million, or about a quarter of the more than 10 million cases worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the actual numbers, both in the U.S. and globally, are probably far higher, in part because of testing limitations and the large number of people without symptoms.

What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada

As of 6 p.m. ET on Monday, Canada had 103,918 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 67,178 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,617.

Canada’s chief public health officer said today transmission of the novel coronavirus is largely under control in this country, but warned that the caseload can flare up at any time.

“The epidemiology indicates that transmission is largely under control, while also showing us that cases can re-emerge at any time or place,” Dr. Theresa Tam told an updated modelling briefing Monday.

A person wearing a face mask is seen in Toronto on Monday. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

The number of daily cases is steadily declining, along with the number of hospitalized and critical care cases, said Tam. 

She warned, however, that lifting pandemic measures too soon without a proper system of contact tracing and isolation likely would lead to relapses.

After months of strict travel rules and widespread business shutdowns, more provinces are easing restrictions. Later this week, the four Atlantic provinces will open their borders to each other, meaning residents in those areas can travel without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

But areas in multiple provinces have experienced setbacks trying to reopen.

The updated Public Health Agency of Canada figures show that some areas have been more heavily affected by COVID-19 than others — specifically Quebec and Ontario — and identified some recent regional hotspots, including parts of Saskatchewan, the cities of Toronto and Montreal and around the border town of Windsor, Ont.

What’s happening around the world

The head of the World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over” and that the outbreak is accelerating globally.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said Monday that WHO will be convening a meeting this week to assess the progress made in coronavirus research so far and re-evaluate priorities moving forward as the pandemic continues.

Tedros warned that because “most people remain susceptible” to the virus, the world is still only in the early stages of the outbreak. “The worst is yet to come,” he said. “With this kind of environment and condition, we fear the worst.”

WATCH | Sombre WHO director warns COVID-19 ‘not even close to being over’:

‘The pandemic is actually speeding up,’ says Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the world needs to learn to live with the virus without losing hope. 1:56

In the Asia-Pacific, South Korean authorities reported 47 new cases as they struggled to curb outbreaks that have spread from Seoul to other regions.

In China, nearly 8.3 million out of about 21 million have undergone testing in recent weeks in Beijing after an outbreak centred on a wholesale market. The country reported just 12 new cases Monday, including seven in Beijing.

Health authorities are using what they describe as the world’s first saliva test for the coronavirus in Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, where the disease is spreading at an alarming rate.

India’s 20,000 new infections were another record. Several Indian states reimposed partial or full lockdowns after the total number of cases jumped by nearly 100,000 in one week to about 548,000.

A person is tested for COVID-19 in Mumbai on Monday. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters)

In Europe, Britain reimposed lockdown restrictions on the city of Leicester after a spike in cases, ordering the closing of schools along with stores that do not sell essential goods.

Serbia’s authorities have made wearing face masks mandatory in all closed spaces in the capital, Belgrade, following a rise in cases.

And authorities have extended by a week a partial lockdown in the western German district of Guetersloh — home to some 360,000 people — which was hit by a big outbreak at a slaughterhouse.

A worker wearing PPE disinfects public toilets in Leicester, U.K., on Monday. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

In the Americas, escalations are unfolding in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Panama, even after they imposed early lockdowns.

In Brazil, Sao Paulo state — the epicentre of the country’s COVID-19 crisis — will start fining people who do not wear masks in public areas.

More than 14,000 of Brazil’s 57,000 confirmed fatalities from COVID-19 are in Sao Paulo state. Brazil has a confirmed caseload and death count second only to the U.S., and its leader is unwilling to take steps to stem the spread of the virus.

A worker sprays hand sanitizer for people at a church in Sao Paulo on Monday. (Rahel Patrasso/Reuters)

In Africa, the continent’s most populous country announced it will let people travel between its states outside curfew hours from July 1, a senior Nigerian official said on Monday as authorities moved to relax some coronavirus restrictions.

South Africa — which has more than a third of Africa’s confirmed cases with 138,000 — leads the continent in testing, but an initially promising program has now been overrun in Cape Town, which alone has more reported cases than any other African country except Egypt.

Critical shortages of kits have forced city officials to abandon testing for anyone under 55 unless they have a serious health condition or are in a hospital.


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