A woman reacts after getting a nasal swab taken to test for the coronavirus in Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi. AP
India on Monday reported nearly 20,000 new coronavirus infections, a new record for the country, as several states reimpose partial or full lockdowns to stem the spread of the virus.
India has seen a jump of nearly 100,000 cases over the past week, the health ministry said. In all, the country has confirmed 548,318 cases, making it the world’s fourth-worst affected country after the United States, Brazil and Russia. India’s death toll has reached 16,475.
Commuters wait as a police personnel check for valid travel credentials in Chennai. AFP
The capital district of the northeastern state of Assam on the Bangladesh border has reimposed a full lockdown until July 12 following a spike in cases. Another border state, West Bengal, has extended its lockdown until July 31.
However, in India’s worst-affected states — Maharashtra, which includes India’s financial capital, Mumbai, and Delhi, home to the capital, New Delhi — most lockdown restrictions have been eased, with restaurants, shopping malls and parks reopened, and public buses and shared-ride services back on the roads.
Motorists are seen on a deserted Mount road in Chennai on Friday. AFP
China on Monday reported a further decline in new confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a total of just 12, including seven cases of domestic transmission in Beijing, where nearly 8.3 million people have now undergone testing in recent weeks. The number of new cases in the city was down by half from the day before, the National Health Commission reported.
No new deaths were reported Monday, leaving the total at 4,634 among 83,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19, . Currently 418 patients are in treatment, and another 112 are under observation for being suspected cases or for testing positive without showing any symptoms.
Folding beds are seen at the campus of a spiritual organisation that is planning to prepare around 10,000 beds for the coronavirus patients in New Delhi. Reuters
Beijing temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market where the virus spread widely earlier this month, re-closed schools and locked down some neighborhoods. Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative virus test result procured within the previous seven days.
About 7.69 million results on people tested in Beijing have been returned, city official Zhang Qiang said Sunday. Beijing has more than 20 million people but authorities have focused so far on high risk groups such as people working in the food and salon industry and those living in areas where cases have been discovered.
On Friday the southern state of Tamil Nadu imposed a lockdown with tough restrictions in Chennai and surrounding districts until June 30.
India on Sunday extended its nearly 2-month-old lockdown by two weeks after reporting nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases , but said restrictions could be eased in low-risk areas to boost economic activity.
Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation, said the challenge was to stop the virus from spreading to new parts of the country, but held out hope that some restrictions could be eased next week in the least-affected areas to allow essential activities.
The Hong Kong office of China’s foreign ministry urges Britain to “immediately correct its mistakes” regarding visa policy for those with British National (Overseas) status, it said on Friday.
Britain and Japan formally signed a trade agreement on Friday, marking the UK’s first big post-Brexit deal on trade, as it continues to struggle to agree on a deal with its closest trading partners in the European Union.
President Xi Jinping said on Friday that China will never allow its sovereignty, security and development interests to be undermined, and that the Chinese people are not to be trifled with.