Europe reopens borders; China battles 2nd wave - GulfToday

Europe reopens borders; China battles 2nd wave


German tourists arrive at Son San Joan Aeroport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. AFP

A raft of EU nations reopened their borders to fellow Europeans on Monday after months of coronavirus curbs, but China was battling a new outbreak that has stoked fears of a second wave.

As caseloads have declined in recent weeks across many parts of Europe, governments have been keen to ease punishing lockdowns that have saved lives but devastated economies and wearied confined populations.

Belgium, France, Germany and Greece were among those lifting border restrictions on Monday, while Spain experimented with a pilot project that saw a planeload of German tourists fly into the Balearic islands.

In England, shops and outdoor attractions welcomed their first customers since March, while in Paris, cafes and restaurants were allowed to fully reopen.

“I’m happy to be able to shop again after all this time,” said Precious, an 18-year-old student on London’s crowded Oxford Street.

Indian capital, Delhi will introduce aggressive testing to detect COVID-19 patients, the third affected state, from June 20.

The assurance came after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met leaders of various other parties.

Kejriwal reiterated that Delhi does not face a lockdown. “Many people are speculating whether another lockdown in Delhi in being planned. There are no such plans,” Kejriwal said.

He added that Delhi will see a more vigorous testing strategy in the coming week with the capacity being increased from 8,600 to 18,000 COVID-19 tests per day in the next five days.

The Indian Ministry said active number of coronavirus cases in Delhi stand at 24,032.

In UAE, the Health Ministry announced that it has conducted more than 27,000 COVID-19 tests, which revealed 342 new cases.

This brings the total number of infections recorded in the country to 42,636.

The Ministry also revealed that two people died from the complications of coronavirus infection.

This brings the total number of deaths in the country to 291.

The Ministry announced that 667 patients of COVID-19 have fully recovered after treatment, bringing the total number of recoveries in the country to 28,129.

According to the ministry the number of active cases undergoing treatment in the country stands at 14,216 cases so far.

The Sharjah Human Resources Directorate (SHRD) explained that early test of coronavirus infections that were carried out for employees of the Sharjah government until now has covered the 30 per cent rate of employees covered by the decision to return to workplace.

The number of examinations that have been conducted so far exceeds 5,000 for male and female employees of departments, bodies and institutions of the Sharjah government to ensure their safety when they start work.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, such as computer vision and machine learning algorithms, proved very effective in detecting and reporting violations of preventive measures undertaken to fight the Coronavirus.

Such monitoring covers physical distancing and wearing of face masks onboard taxis, whether for passengers or drivers.

In Saudi, the number of coronavirus deaths in surpassed 1,000 on Monday, the health ministry said, amid a new surge in infections just weeks ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The death toll climbed to 1,011 as the total number of infections rose to 132,048, the highest in the Gulf.

China’s capital city raced Monday to control a fresh coronavirus outbreak, with 79 cases linked to a single wholesale food market in Beijing where authorities have locked down neighbourhoods and launched a massive test and trace programme.

The outbreak in China — where the disease first emerged last year -- had largely been brought under control until a fresh batch of cases was detected in the capital last week.

Pakistani authorities said they will re-impose strict lockdowns in selected areas of several cities from Monday night, a day after the federal government said COVID-19 cases could multiply eightfold by the end of July and hit 1.2 million.


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