Egypt eases lockdown despite surge in coronavirus cases

  • Egypt lifted many restrictions put in place against the coronavirus pandemic, reopening cafes, clubs, gyms and theatres after more than three months of closure, despite a continued upward trend in new infections.
  • India has more than 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with a record daily leap of 18,500 new infections.
  • Sixteen NBA players in the US have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests as the league restart approaches.
  • United States Vice President Mike Pence has said that 16 states across the nation are seeing an increase in cases of the novel coronavirus.
  • More than 9.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while some 4.9 million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 493,000 people have died.

    Saturday, June 27

    16:45 GMT – Peru to lift some coronavirus lockdown measures but keep borders closed

    Peru will lift coronavirus lockdown measures in most areas of the country, including the capital Lima, at the start of July, while keeping its borders closed, after the daily rate of cases slowed in recent days, the government has announced.

    A night curfew will still be in force, according to a government decree, as officials aim to keep the pandemic under control while it grapples with a battered economy and a near-collapse of its health system.

    Children under the age of 14 and people older than 65 will still be required to quarantine, the government said.

    Peru was one of the first countries in Latin America to impose a quarantine in mid-March to stem infections, and has extended it several times until the end of June. Since May, the government has allowed a gradual reopening of the economy.

    15:00 GMT – German leader urges caution as economy reopens

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, as regional outbreaks gave rise to fears of a second wave.

    Merkel said in her weekly video podcast that getting Europe’s economy back on track is her primary goal as Germany takes over the rotating European Union presidency next week, but stressed that everyone shared a “joint responsibility” in following social distancing, mask and hygiene rules as lockdown rules are relaxed.

    German authorities renewed a lockdown in a western region of about 500,000 people in the past week after about 1,300 slaughterhouse workers tested positive for COVID-19, in an attempt to prevent the outbreak from spreading across the area.

    Germany has recorded nearly 195,000 coronavirus infections and only around 9,000 deaths, with more than 177,000 recoveries, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

    The Serbian government has annnounced that Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin has tested positive for the coronavirus.

    The defence ministry said in a statement that Vulin has no symptoms of the virus and is feeling fine. Vulin, known for his highly pro-Russian stance, was part of Serbia’s delegation led by President Aleksandar Vucic that attended a Victory Day parade this week in Moscow.

    Vucic met face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was not clear whether Vulin did so as well. Maja Gojkovic, the speaker of Serbia’s parliament, also tested positive, according to the state Tanjug news agency.

    Serbia has seen a spike in coronavirus cases since lifting strict lockdown measures in May, allowing large gatherings without obligatory social distancing or masks. Vucic has announced he will reintroduce the tough measures if the spike continues. Serbia has so far registered more than 13,500 cases and 265 deaths from COVID-19.

    12:10 GMT – Mosques reopen in Egypt after restrictions eased

    Mosques reopened on Saturday in mostly Muslim Egypt after a three-month shutdown as the country relaxed restrictions imposed to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus.

    The government has allowed daily prayers again in mosques amid health precautions, but has kept suspended the larger Friday prayers for Muslims and Sunday Mass for the country’s Christian minority.

    11:45 GMT – Flight departs UK to deliver virus aid to Africa

    Britain’s Royal Air Force says the first in a series of flights taking coronavirus aid to Africa has departed for Ghana with materials for a field hospital with capacity for nearly 100 people.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that the UK was the first NATO ally to come forward with an aid flight after NATO agreed to support the United Nations’ appeal for airlift assistance.

    The pandemic and travel restrictions have severely affected flights to the African continent and the delivery of crucial cargo including medical supplies.

    11:20 GMT – EU narrows down border list, US unlikely to make the cut

    European Union envoys are close to finalising a list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter Europe again, possibly from late next week, EU diplomats confirmed, while Americans are almost certain to be excluded in the short term due to the number of US coronavirus cases.

    The envoys were expected to have narrowed down later Saturday the exact criteria for countries to make the list, which include the way in which the spread of the virus is being managed. Another key condition is whether the country has a ban on citizens from European nations.The number of cases in the United States has surged over the past week, with an all-time high of 45,300 confirmed new daily infections just reached.

    11:00 GMT – Iran’s Khamenei warns economy will worsen if virus spreads

    Iran’s supreme leader warned that the country’s economic problems would worsen if the novel coronavirus spreads unchecked, saying the initial momentum to contain it had since “waned”.

    The Islamic republic has struggled to curb the COVID-19 outbreak since it reported its first cases in the Shia holy city of Qom in February.

    It shut down non-essential businesses, closed schools and cancelled public events in March, but the government gradually lifted restrictions from April to try to reopen the country’s sanctions-hit economy.

    10:20 GMT – Tokyo sees highest number of daily infections since emergency ended

    The Japanese capital, Tokyo, registered the highest number of new coronavirus infections since the national emergency was lifted at the end of May.

    According to the Japanese television channel NHK, 57 people tested positive for the coronavirus within a day. This means that the number of daily new infections has now been around 50 cases for four days.

    09:45 GMT – Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections with 1,385 cases

    Indonesia reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus infections with 1,385 new cases, taking the total to 52,812, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

    Yurianto also said there had been 37 more coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 2,720.

    09:20 GMT – Outrage in India after victim’s body moved with excavator

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