In response to the panic purchase, which earlier in the pandemic saw shelves emptied of toilet paper, pasta, disinfectant and other essentials, the grocery chain Woolworths announced that it would reintroduce nationwide purchasing limits for toilet paper.
Woolworths first limited Wednesday to Victoria. Customers were limited to just two pieces of toilet paper, a hand sanitizer, a paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, ground meat, long-life milk, eggs and rice. Coles, another supermarket chain, has also limited purchases of hand sanitizer, flour, eggs, other groceries, and toilet paper.Despite the outbreak of infections, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that he would abide by plans to further ease restrictions on coronaviruses.
“There will be epidemics and what matters is that we continue to build our capacity to deal with these epidemics,” said Morrison at a press conference in Canberra.
Meanwhile, new cases continue to exceed 30,000 per day Brazil and the United States. Brazil confirmed on Thursday 39,483 cases of coronavirus, bringing the national total to 1,228,114 known infections. The number of deaths in the country is around 55,000, with 54,971 confirmed deaths.
In the United States, at least 27 states have reported an increase in the number of daily cases recorded. Texas confirmed a record 5,996 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, just a day after breaking its previous record with 5,551 cases on Wednesday, forcing Republican governor of Texas Greg Abbott to suspend further reopening. Abbott also reimposed a ban on elective surgery in certain areas to preserve hospital space, after the number of patients across the state more than doubled in two weeks.
Vice President Mike Pence to Hold First Coronavirus Task Force Press Briefing in Few Weeks Friday, CNN reported.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has warned that it believes the United States has so far had 10 times more known infections during the pandemic, or 20 million cases. The CDC has warned that there is a risk of “apocalyptic” infection in major cities.
In a Fox News town hall on Tuesday, President Donald Trump repeatedly said that American cases were higher due to more testing, comparing the situation in the United States to that in Germany, and saying that Germany had much lower tests (Germany performs 65 tests per 1,000 people, while in the United States it is 86). However, in the United States, 8.2% of the tests returned positive, while in Germany, this figure is 3.5%. Confirmed cases per million people in the United States are 7,194.39 compared to 2,292.55 in Germany.
In the United States, 124,355 people have died so far. In Germany, 8,940 people died.
Other key developments from around the world include:
- As of Friday, the number of cases worldwide approached 9.6 million, with WHO saying it expects global infections to exceed 10 million by the end of the week. The current total is 9,586,769. To date, at least 488,740 people have died.
In Sweden, people lose confidence in the authorities’ management of the coronavirus pandemic, while the man behind the country’s light approach called the lockouts crazy and the political parties demanded that the Swedish strategy be reviewed before the next election in 2022.
China reported 13 new cases, including 11 in Beijing. Eleven were in Beijing, where mass tests were carried out following an epidemic that appears to have been largely contained. The other two cases were brought by Chinese travelers from abroad, according to the National Health Commission.
South Korea reported 39 new cases, mainly in the densely populated metropolitan area of Seoul, where officials are struggling to stem transmissions in the context of increased public activity and alleviating attitudes towards social distancing.
Mexico exceeded a total of 25,000 deaths and 200,000 confirmed cases. The country Finance Minister Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez has tested positive but has only “minor” symptoms, he said.
A Europe-wide study shows that deaths from the childhood virus are “extremely rare”. The study shows that less than one in 100 children who test positive dies, although a small but significant percentage develop serious illness.
United Kingdom Health Secretary Matt Hancock has threatened to close the beaches after tens of thousands of people have descended en masse on the beaches of Bournemouth and other parts of the Dorset coast. Hancock said on TalkRadio that he has the power to close beaches if people don’t follow social distancing rules.
New Zealand reported a new case of Covid-19. Like all active cases in the country, it was diagnosed during routine tests of quarantined travelers.