- How the pandemic caught Canada with its PPE stockpiles down.
- Precautions taken during Spain’s regional elections due to localized outbreaks.
- 4 members of Bollywood’s Bachchan family hit by coronavirus.
- Trump wears face mask in public for 1st time.
- South Africa’s confirmed cases have doubled in just 2 weeks.
- Why it may be harder to catch COVID-19 from surfaces than we first thought.
Voters in northern Spain wore face masks and used hand sanitizer gel before entering polling stations on Sunday as Galicia and the Basque Country held regional elections while fighting localized outbreaks of coronavirus.
The polls are the first in Spain since the country began a strict lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus in early March. Both were postponed from April because of the pandemic.
Bilbao, the Basque region’s largest city, has increased the number of polling stations by 25 per cent to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. Voters and polling station workers are required to wear facial protection and wash their hands.
Authorities have said more than 460 people across the two regions who recently tested positive for the coronavirus will be unable to vote. People awaiting test results are also barred from leaving their homes.
Local health officials have confirmed at least 161 coronavirus cases in the Basque Country and more than 300 in Galicia. Those regions, along with Catalonia, are under local lockdowns because of fresh outbreaks.
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In India, Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Sunday, a day after her father-in-law and top Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, 77, and her husband and actor Abhishek said they were infected with the virus.
Maharashtra state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in a tweet Aishwarya and her daughter had tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. It was not clear whether they had been admitted to hospital, as Amitabh and Abhishek were on Saturday, when they said they had mild symptoms.
In the United States, the daily COVID-19 death toll has been increasing this past week after falling for months, as states such as Florida and Texas saw explosions in cases and hospitalizations.
According to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. has increased from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10 — still well below the heights hit in April.
Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states over that time period, but the majority of those states are averaging under 15 new deaths per day. A smaller group of states, largely in the south and west, has been driving the nationwide increase in deaths.
More than 4,200 deaths were reported across the country in the past seven days.
The virus has killed more than 130,000 people in the U.S. and more than a half-million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, though the actual numbers are believed to be higher.
Deaths first began mounting in the U.S. in March. About two dozen deaths were being reported daily in the middle of that month. By late March, hundreds of deaths were being reported each day and thousands in April. Most happened in New York, New Jersey and elsewhere in the northeast.
Deaths were so high there because it was a new virus tearing through a densely populated area, and it quickly swept through vulnerable groups of people in nursing homes and other places, said Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health in New Jersey.
Many of the infections occurred before government officials imposed stay-at-home orders and other physical-distancing measures. The daily death toll started falling in mid-April — and continued to fall until about a week ago.
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 7:15 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 107,346 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 71,266 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,809.
Newly released data from the City of Ottawa shows nine hair stylists and barbers received fines for opening during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Four restaurants, two landscaping companies and one garden centre were also fined the standard $880, while two people also received another $1,130 fine for obstruction of implementing those orders.
Elections Saskatchewan estimates it will need 400,000 face masks and thousands of litres of hand sanitizer and
disinfectant to keep people safe at the polls on Oct. 26.
The independent body says it’s working to source those supplies, at an expected cost of about $425,000.
Saskatchewan is the only province with a general election on the books this year. It’s also a province with a low infection rate. On Friday, 43 active cases were reported. But health officials have said there are concerns another wave of infections could arrive with cooler temperatures in the fall.
Calgary’s mayor is musing about the possibility of making masks mandatory in certain situations and says he could bring forward a draft bylaw to council on July 20.
Naheed Nenshi says mask use indoors in Calgary is too low, particularly on public transit.
Nenshi is just one vote on council, so he can’t do anything on his own. He has said he could bring a proposed bylaw before council, who would have to vote for moving forward with it.
Here’s what’s happening around the world
Globally more than 12.5 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 560,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the pandemic’s true toll is much higher due to testing shortages, poor data collection in some nations and other issues.
In Africa, more than 8,000 health workers have been infected, half of them in South Africa. The continent of 1.3 billion has the world’s lowest levels of health staffing and more than 550,000 cases, and the pandemic is reaching “full speed,” the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.
In Kenya, some have been outraged by a local newspaper report that says several governors have installed intensive-care unit equipment in their homes. The country lost its first doctor to COVID-19 this week.
South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have doubled in just two weeks to a quarter-million. To complicate matters, the country’s troubled power utility has announced new electricity cuts in the dead of winter as a cold front brings freezing weather. Many of the country’s urban poor live in shacks of scrap metal and wood.
In Asia, India reported a new daily high of 27,114 cases on Saturday, and nearly a dozen states have imposed a partial lockdown in high-risk areas.
A surge in infections saw cases jump from 600,000 to more than 800,000 in nine days. Infected people are packing India’s public hospitals, as many are unable to afford private facilities that generally uphold higher standards of care.
Australia’s Victoria state marked a week of triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections on Sunday, while a community outbreak in neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) has put the state on high alert.
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Victoria reported 273 new cases of the coronavirus and another COVID-19 death on Sunday, while NSW had nine cases linked to an outbreak at a Sydney pub. Both states account for more than half of Australia’s population of 25 million.
Australia has avoided the high COVID-19 casualty numbers of other nations with swift and strict measures, recording so far just under 10,000 coronavirus cases, or about a sixth of the daily case increases seen in the United States in recent days.
In the Americas, a Brazilian couple donned space suits to take a stroll on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach on Saturday.
“I wanted to get out, but I couldn’t because I was worried because I’m 66-years-old and in an at-risk group and I have pulmonary difficulties, so I didn’t want to run any risks by going out and maybe getting infected,” said Tercio Galdino as he posed for photos with his 65-year-old wife, Aliceia Lima.
Brazil — which has the second-highest virus death toll after the United States — exceeded 1.8 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Friday, and the virus has killed a total of 70,398 people, according to the country’s health ministry.
Countries in Eastern Europe are facing rising waves of coronavirus infections, leading to new restrictive measures such as the mandatory use of face masks in Croatia and travel bans or quarantines to be imposed by Hungary.
Hungarian authorities said Sunday that they would put countries in three categories — red, yellow and green — based on their rate of new coronavirus infections, and would impose restrictions, including entry bans and mandatory quarantines, depending from which country people were coming from.
Foreigners from countries in the red category — those with a high rate of infections, including Albania, Ukraine, Belarus and practically all of Asia, Africa and South and Central America — are banned from entering, while Hungarian citizens arriving from those locations will have to stay quarantined for two weeks or until they test negative twice, 48 hours apart.
Both Hungarians and people arriving from countries in the yellow category — which includes, among others, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, as well as Britain, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China and the United States — will have to quarantine for two weeks, but will be allowed out if they test negative for the virus: once for Hungarians, or two negative tests 48 hours apart in the case of foreigners.
Gulyas said the new rules would take effect Wednesday and would be reviewed at least once a week.
Romania announced a new high of infections on Saturday, with 698, while 456 new cases were reported Sunday.