China’s national health commission said 108 new infections on Sunday, the highest number in more than five weeks, surpassing 99 on Saturday, nearly double the 46 reported on Friday.
All but 10 cases were imported, and seven of the local infections occurred in Heilongjiang Province, a northern region where authorities are tightening restrictions and monitoring after an increase in the number of people with Covid-19 crossing the border Russian.
The capital of Heilongjiang, Harbin, as well as the border town of Suifenhe – which is subject to certain Wuhan-style restrictions – now require that all arrivals be quarantined for 28 days and undergo testing. Under the new restrictions, Harbin residential units – where it has been confirmed that people have the virus, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic – must be locked up for 14 days.
Suifenhe was one of the few routes allowing people to return to China from Russia after Russia stopped all flights and closed its land border to incoming traffic in late January and early February.
Hubei Province, where the epidemic started, has again no new cases, but two deaths in Wuhan.
In Europe, Italy and France have reported fewer deaths in the past 24 hours – Italy, the European nation most affected by the disease, reporting its lowest toll in more than three weeks.
Some Spanish companies will resume operations on Monday after a two-week halt in non-essential activity. The death toll in the country has declined in recent days, but as a slight increase in deaths was reported on Sunday, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned that the locked country was “far from victory”.
“We are all eager to go back to the streets … but our desire is even greater to win the war and avoid a relapse,” he said. “General confinement will remain the rule for the next two weeks and the only people allowed to go out will be those who go to authorized jobs or make authorized purchases.” “
The decision to allow certain companies to take over has drawn criticism from certain sectors, who fear a further increase in infections. People who return to work have been advised to maintain social distance, and face masks will be distributed at metro and train stations.
“I want to be very clear: we are not entering a de-escalation phase,” said Sánchez. “The state of emergency is still in effect, as is the lock. The only thing that has ended is the two-week extreme economic hibernation period. “
Italy is expected to allow more companies to start operating on Tuesday.
In the United States, Donald Trump went on Twitter Sunday evening to angrily deny accusations that he had rejected advice to implement physical distancing measures as early as February, describing the New York Times, which printed the allegations, such as “fake” paper.
Trump’s top pandemic medical advisor Anthony Fauci appeared to confirm the allegations that he and other administration officials recommended physical distance measures in February but were pushed back for nearly a month.
Fauci told CNN that “there was a lot of crackdown on shutting down at the time.”
In the same interview with CNN, Fauci said that any gradual economic recovery in the United States would depend on rapid and widespread testing. “Once the number of seriously ill people decreases sharply, the authorities can begin to think of a gradual return to a kind of normal, a gradual return. “
Fauci believed this could happen in some places by May, but warned that easing the restrictions would lead to more infections. “I mean, it’s just the reality. “
He said he believed that if there was “a good, measured way of progressing towards normalcy,” then people could, hopefully, vote in the November 3 elections “in the standard manner.”
In the United States, current social distancing measures are set to expire on April 30.
The global number of confirmed cases has exceeded 1.85 million, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker. There have been more than 114,000 deaths worldwide, including 19,899 in Italy, where the death rate has started to slow.
In other developments:
- The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany increased by 2,537 to 123,016. This was less than an increase of 2,821 reported on Sunday and marked the third decline after four days of increases. The number of reported deaths increased from 126 to 2,799.
Major oil-producing countries agreed on “historic” production cuts on Sunday to lower oil prices due to the new coronavirus crisis and the price war between Russia and the United States ‘Saudi Arabia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to accept the resignation of his interior minister following a brutal nationwide freeze that sparked a wave of panic buying.
Boris Johnson walked out of the hospital and thanked the NHS for “saving [his] life “.
UK government faces growing criticism for response to coronaviruses, particularly for failure to obtain enough personal protective equipment and tests for the NHS and carers, as the death toll in the country has surpassed 10,000. He followed a warning that the UK could end up with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in Europe.
Thousands of displaced Syrians have started to return to Idlib, some motivated by fear of the spread of the coronavirus in camps near the Turkish border.
China pledged to improve treatment of Africans in the southern city of Guangzhou following international pressure. Faced with accusations of discrimination related to the pandemic, China has declared that it rejects all “racist and discriminatory” remarks.