Spain reported 1,229 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, surpassing 1,000 for the second day in a row. It also marked the biggest increase since its lockdown was relaxed on June 21.
Amid the resurgence of the virus in Europe and Asia, France’s Health Minister Olivier Véran insisted the country was not in the grip of a second wave, but urged people to maintain measures of distancing and protection.
Several French cities on Thursday announced new face mask requirements and other measures to contain the virus. Authorities in Saint-Malo in Brittany, a popular tourist destination, said masks were mandatory inside its walled old town and on the ramparts for all those aged 11 and over.
Warning that shutting down the country would be a “catastrophic” economic and social event, French Prime Minister Jean Castex over the weekend declared another full lockdown. must be “avoided first and foremost”. The approach mirrors that of other countries, including Spain and the United Kingdom, who attempted to manage resurgences of cases with restrictions and localized lockdowns. Iceland reinstated restrictions on public gatherings Thursday after discovering at least two new clusters of infection, the government said.
Echoing statements by politicians from various European countries in recent days, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the increase in the number of cases in some countries was partly due to young people let their guard down. “We have said it before and we will say it again: young people are not invincible,” said Tedros.
After a brief easing of travel restrictions, countries have tightened the rules for travelers.
Norway announced that it would reimpose a 10-day quarantine requirement for people arriving from Belgium, from Saturday, after an increase in cases. Last week, it reimposed restrictions on travel from Spain.
Poland reported its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 615 new infections and the deaths of 15 more. Case in the Czech Republic exceeded 16,000, as a recent sharp rise in infections continued.
Outside of Europe, Asia is also seeing sharp increases in cases. Australia, India and Hong Kong all reported daily cases recorded in recent days.
Asian governments had widely bragged about quickly containing initial outbreaks after the virus emerged in central China late last year, but this month’s outbreaks have shown the danger of complacency .
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We have to be careful not to indulge the idea that there is a golden immunity that Australia has to this virus.” Australia reported a record 13 deaths in one day on Thursday and more than 700 new infections, mostly in the second most populous state of Victoria, where all residents have been ordered to wear masks outside.
In Hong Kong, where a record 149 new cases were on Thursday, authorities said the global financial center was going through a critical period as it tried to contain its outbreak.
In JapanThe governor of Tokyo has called for restaurants, bars and karaoke lounges to be closed earlier to help contain the coronavirus, with the Japanese capital having reported a record number of new infections.
“The current situation is more serious than before,” said Yuriko Koike, citing experts. “There were several clusters in Tokyo… We have no time to waste,” she said, adding that the number of infections through group meals is increasing and Tokyo will have to declare the condition. emergency if the situation worsens.
in the WEFormer Republican 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain died of coronavirus, his team said on its website on Thursday. He tested positive for Covid-19 in early July and was admitted to hospital shortly after, where he was receiving oxygen.
Florida reported a record increase in new Covid-19 deaths for a third consecutive day, with 252 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the state’s health department. Arizona also reported a record increase with 172 deaths, bringing the death toll in that state to 3,626. Both states had been hot spots with large outbreaks, but new cases have recently slowed in both.
In Brazil, the first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, and the minister of science and technology, Marcos Pontes, have tested positive, just over three weeks after the president, Jair Bolsonaro, announced he had tested positive.
Jair Bolsonaro has faced national and international condemnation for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 90,000 Brazilians. Brazil suffered its highest daily toll on Wednesday, with 1,554 deaths recorded in a single day and a record 70,869 new cases. Despite this, much of the country is reopening.
In Libya, the internationally recognized government of Tripoli has said it will impose a full lockdown on areas of the country it controls, after a sharp rise in cases.
Additional reporting by Kim Willsher in Paris and Tom Phillips in Mexico City