People sit on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida, US, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Photo: Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg)

Venezuela restores lockdown: Global virus update

People sit on the beach in Miami Beach, Florida, US, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Photo: Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg)

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 8.8 million; deaths top 464,000
  • Here’s what you need to know about phase two as NYC reopens
  • Tyson, Pepsi among companies hit by fallout of Beijing outbreak
  • UK will set out further easing measures this week
  • Cases increase 1.3% in Russia, 1.1% in Iran
  • Trump questions the U.S. case count

Venezuela Restores Lockdown

The seven-day curbs in 10 states include restrictions on traffic on main highways, roads and avenues, while the metro in Caracas and rail service near the capital will be closed, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced in a TV address.

Protests Haven’t Added to Spread: Hopkins

Initial studies suggest protests after George Floyd’s death haven’t seemed to increase the rate of spread of the coronavirus, but Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said it was too soon to rule out the events as a source of new infections.

“We know from what we’ve seen so far in the last few months that outdoors is less of a risk than indoors and that mask use has a major impact,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The rally for Donald Trump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday is concerning, he said, because people were sitting close together, few wore masks and hands were being shaken without sanitising. “All of those things will increase the risk of spread. We have seen in the past few months around the world that indoor gatherings have been the source of most super-spreading events.”

Dutch Police Try to Break Up Protest

Police warned people to stay away from the center of The Hague after they charged hundreds of what they called soccer fans with horses and a water cannon, the Associated Press reported. It was unclear exactly how many people turned up after The Hague mayor urged people to avoid a weekend demonstration targeting the Dutch government’s handling of the pandemic. The Netherlands reported just one death on Sunday, bringing the total to 6,090 out of 49,593 confirmed cases.

PepsiCo Shuts Beijing Plant After Test

PepsiCo China said it shut a local plant in Beijing after a coronavirus case was confirmed on June 15. The company conducted nucleic acid tests on all employees on June 16, and quarantined 480 employees on June 20 even though they all tested negative for the virus, one of its officials, Fan Zhimin, said at a local government briefing on the latest developments of the Beijing outbreak.

The company later said that the closed plant isn’t involved in its drinks operations, and no cases have been reported at its beverage plants.

Netanyahu Warns of Second Lockdown

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel may have to renew its lockdown. More than 20,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Israel, including 305 fatalities. The number of cases has steadily risen, from less than 17,000 a month ago, after restrictions were significantly eased and many people ignored instructions to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

“If we don’t change our behavior immediately, and began to wear masks and keep a distance from each other, the lockdowns will return,” Netanyahu said. “None of us want that.”

Recovered Patients Test Positive in Study

In Denmark, a study of 200 patients who had recovered from COVID-19 showed that about 20% of them tested positive for the coronavirus four weeks or more after they had been declared healthy, TV2 reported. Scientists from the Aarhus Universtity said the preliminary results could indicate that the virus has somehow been “re-activated,” but there’s nothing to suggest the patients might be contagious, said Martin Tolstrup, the doctor behind the study. The scientists will now conduct new tests to determine whether the virus is still active in the patients’ bodies.

Germany’s Infection Rate Rises

The reproduction factor of the virus, known as R-naught, rose to 1.79 on Saturday compared with 1.06 the day before, according to the latest daily report by German health body, the Robert Koch Institute. There were 371 new infections in the 24 hours through Sunday morning, bringing the total to 190,670, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That compares with 439 on average over the past seven days and almost 7,000 at the peak of the pandemic in late March.

Australia’s Victoria State Emergency Extended

After an uptick in cases, the government of the Australian state whose capital is Melbourne, said it will continue to enforce physical distancing and isolation through July 20. The state recorded 19 new cases from Saturday to Sunday, the fifth day of double-digit increases and the most of any Australian jurisdiction, after hitting a two-month high of 25 on Saturday.

Indonesian Copper and Gold Mine Operation

PT Freeport Indonesia’s giant Grasberg copper and gold mine is operating normally despite 188 employees testing positive for the coronavirus, President Director Tony Wenas told MetroTV. The Papua mine’s output is “better than targeted,” Wenas said, even as the company imposes physical distancing measures to prevent the disease spreading.

Four employees have died from the virus and 134 have been discharged from hospital, Wenas said. Indonesia has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia at more than 45,000, and also the highest number of fatalities at over 2,400.

Saudi Arabia Lifts Restrictions

Saudi Arabia decided to resume all commercial activities and lift restrictions on movement from Sunday even as coronavirus cases show no signs of easing. The curfew will be lifted across the nation from 6 a.m. local time, but international travel and the Muslim pilgrimage known as Umrah will continue to be banned.

The United Arab Emirates may reopen public and private universities and schools in September depending on the evolving situation, Gulf News reported.

Philippine Lockdown Baby Boom

The Philippines may see about 214,000 babies born from unplanned pregnancies next year as the lockdown to stem the virus outbreak also impeded access to birth control, the Star reported.

An initial study by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute showed that strict quarantine measures imposed across most of the nation for at least two months from mid-March also prevented a third of health workers from reporting to health centers that provide family planning services, according to the report.

Brazil Cases Rise 3.4%

Brazil reported 34,666 new cases, a 3.4% increase, bringing the national total to 1.07 million, according to States Health Secretaries known as Conass on its website. Fatalities increased by 1,022, or 2.1%, to 49,976.

São Paulo, the state with the highest number of cases, reached 215,793 infections and 12,494 deaths.