- Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to outbreak.
- International Monetary Fund approves $4.3 billion US emergency loan to South Africa.
- UN releases $100 million US from emergency fund for 10 countries’ pandemic relief.
- Head of Chinese CDC is injected with experimental vaccine.
- Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 more child deaths each month.
As countries throughout the world begin to report spikes in coronavirus cases, recently opened borders are once again being closed.
In Vietnam, travel into and out of the resort city of Danang was shut down early Tuesday, while in Europe, Britain and Germany recommended their citizens avoid the islands and beaches of Spain due to an increase in cases.
Spain reacted with outrage to those recommendations during what should be the height of the tourism season. Britons make up the biggest group of foreign tourists in Spain, with some 18 million travelling there last year — just over a fifth of the total number of visitors. Some 11.2 million Germans visited Spain, making them the second-largest group.
At the same time, the U.K. government’s recommendation against all but essential travel to Spain means that all travellers arriving in Britain from that country will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The move not only dashed some British holiday-makers’ hopes for a getaway this summer, but also fanned renewed uncertainty within Europe’s tourism industry over how to plan ahead amid authorities’ responses to new coronavirus outbreaks.
“Let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends. I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said early Tuesday. He noted that there could be further changes to travel advice down the line affecting all of Europe.
In the United States, President Donald Trump reverted back to pushing unproven claims that an anti-malaria drug is an effective treatment and challenging the credibility of the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.
Numerous studies have shown that the drug, hydroxychloroquine, is not an effective treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently withdrew an order that allowed the drug’s use as an emergency treatment for COVID-19.
Yet overnight, after returning from a trip to North Carolina where he promoted efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine, Trump retweeted a series of tweets advocating for hydroxychloroquine.
WATCH | Hydroxychloroquine trials halted, researchers focus on other treatments:
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, pushed back Tuesday during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“I go along with the FDA,” said Fauci. “The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease.”
What’s happening with coronavirus in Canada
As of 8:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 114,597 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 99,860 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting indicates that 8,936 Canadians have died.
What’s happening in the rest of the world
The United Nation’s humanitarian aid co-ordinator has unlocked another $100 million US from its emergency fund to help 10 under-resourced countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Americas meet pressing needs made worse by the pandemic.
The injection from the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs brings the total to $225 million US released to help 20 countries this year, a record allocation from its Central Emergency Response Fund. Yemen, which the agency says is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is to receive $35 million, the most of any country.
Other top beneficiaries include Afghanistan, Colombia, Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the UN shared with The Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal.
Further, more than 550,000 additional children each month are being struck by what is called wasting, according to the UN — malnutrition that manifests in spindly limbs and distended bellies. Over a year, that’s up 6.7 million from last year’s total of 47 million. Wasting and stunting can permanently damage children physically and mentally, transforming individual tragedies into a generational catastrophe.
The International Monetary Fund has approved a $4.3 billion emergency loan to South Africa as it reels under the coronavirus pandemic with the world’s fifth-largest virus caseload, and confirmed cases approaching half a million.
The fact that Africa’s most developed country for the first time approached the IMF for a loan is the latest sign of its pain. Unemployment is above 30 per cent and rising, and major state-owned enterprises were already in poor shape.
The Madrid regional government in Spain is making the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public areas, limiting how many people can gather in one place and targeting young people in a drive to stamp out new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Regional government head Isabel Diaz Ayuso said an information campaign will focus on young people, who are largely blamed for spreading the coronavirus through their social lives. She said young people “have it in their hands to reverse the trend.”
Madrid, along with Catalonia, is one of Spain’s worst-hit regions. It has recorded more than 74,000 cases, with almost 1,900 new infections in the past two weeks.
Vietnam has locked down its third-largest city for two weeks after 15 cases of coronavirus were found in a hospital.
Public transport into and out of the central city of Danang was cancelled. Over the weekend, thousands of mostly Vietnamese tourists had to end their summer holidays in the popular beach destination.
Authorities estimated several thousand people would be stranded by the transportation shutdown and asked hotels to shelter them.
The government on Sunday had ordered physical distancing and the closure of nonessential businesses in the city of 1.1 million people.
The head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, says he has been injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to persuade the public to follow suit when one is approved.
China has positioned itself to be a strong contender in the race for a vaccine. Eight of the nearly two-dozen potential vaccines in various stages of human testing worldwide are from China, the most of any country.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that a state-owned Chinese company injected employees with experimental shots in March, even before the government-approved testing in people — a move that raised ethical concerns among some experts.
The capital Beijing also reported its first case of domestic transmission in more than two weeks, while the northeastern province of Liaoning added another six cases in its local outbreak. Another four cases were found among Chinese travellers arriving from outside the country, bringing the daily total over the past 24 hours to 68.