UN moves to contain coronavirus in Syrian refugee camps

  • UNHCR steps up efforts to combat COVID-19 among tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in camps in Jordan after the first three cases were confirmed last week.
  • South Korea to decide later today whether to extend stricter antivirus curbs in the greater Seoul area by another week as number of infections drop.
  • Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, returns to pre-pandemic levels with 500 domestic flights on Friday, Chinese authorities say.
  • More than 28.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and nearly 917,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 19.2 million have recovered.

    Sunday, September 13

    09:15 GMT – Scores arrested at protests in Australia’s coronavirus hotspot

    Police in Australia’s Victoria state have arrested 74 people and fined 176 for breaching public health orders as scattered protests against a weeks-long coronavirus lockdown continued for a second straight day across Melbourne.

    A riot squad marched through fruit and vegetable stalls at the city’s landmark, the Queen Victoria market, before the scuffling with protesters erupted, with some people throwing fruit at the police, television footage showed.

    Victoria Police said in a statement that there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protests, but there were no immediately known injuries to the police.

    09:00 GMT – Greece has financial flexibility for tax relief package: Minister

    Greece has the financial flexibility to implement 6.8bn euros ($8bn) of tax relief measures, and the package has been agreed with EU institutions, its finance minister said.

    Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis unveiled the package on Saturday saying it would boost jobs amid an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The country can afford it because it has the financial flexibility,” Christos Staikouras told Real FM radio on Sunday. “Cash reserves stand at 37.8bn euros ($44.77bn).”

    08:45 GMT – Philippines reports 3,372 new coronavirus cases, 79 more deaths

    The Philippines has recorded 3,372 new coronavirus cases and 79 more deaths.

    In a bulletin, the Department of Health said the Southeast Asian country’s confirmed cases of infections had risen to 261,216, the highest in the region, while its death toll had climbed to 4,371.

    08:30 GMT – Indonesia reports 3,636 new COVID-19 cases ahead of curbs in capital

    Indonesia has reported 3,636 new coronavirus infections and 73 new deaths, data from Health Ministry’s website showed.

    The latest report brought the total number of infections to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723, the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia.

    The country’s capital Jakarta will reimpose stricter wide-scale restrictions starting on Monday to control spread of the virus in the mega city.

    08:15 GMT – India interior minister back in hospital after recovering from COVID-19

    India’s interior minister Amit Shah has been admitted to the hospital, nearly two weeks after he was treated for coronavirus.

    Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the virtual number-two in his cabinet, was admitted to the government-run All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the capital New Delhi, the hospital said in a statement.

    “Honourable Home Minister was discharged from AIIMS, New Delhi, after post Covid care on August 30,” the statement read.  “As per advise given at discharge, he has now been admitted for complete medical checkup before parliament session for 1-2 days.”

    Shah is the highest-profile Indian politician to have been infected with the coronavirus.

    08:00 GMT – Austria experiencing second virus wave: chancellor

    Austria is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections, its chancellor has said, as cases spike upwards in line with other EU countries.

    From Friday to Saturday, the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases – more than half of those in the capital Vienna.

    “What we are experiencing is the beginning of the second wave,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, appealing to the population to stick to anti-virus measures and reduce social contacts.

    07:45 GMT – Russia reports 5,449 new coronavirus cases, 94 deaths

    Russia has reported 5,449 new coronavirus cases , pushing its national tally to 1,062,811, the fourth largest in the world.

    Authorities said 94 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 18,578.

    07:30 GMT – S Korea eases social distancing for two weeks ahead of major holiday

    South Korea has eased its tough social distancing policy for the next two weeks in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, with new daily novel coronavirus cases hovering stubbornly within triple digits.

    The government lifted a ban on onsite dining after 9 pm though still requires restaurants and cafes to restrict seating and record patrons’ names and contact details.

    While leisure facilities such as gyms and internet cafes are also allowed to reopen, under so-called phase two restrictions, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, while spectators are banned from sporting events.

    07:00 GMT – Czech Republic sees record rise in virus cases for third straight day

    The Czech Republic has reported its largest single-day increase in new coronavirus infections for a third straight day, recording 1,541 cases, according to Health Ministry data.

    It was the fifth day in a row with new infections above 1,000 as the country of 10.7 million sees a surge in cases that is among the fastest in the European Union.

    The government has tightened rules requiring face mask use but aims to avoid harsh lockdowns.

    06:30 GMT – India’s cases rise to 4.75 million with another spike

    India has registered a single-day spike of 94,372 new confirmed coronavirus cases, driving the country’s overall tally to 4.75 million.

    The Health Ministry reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 78,586.

    Even as infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply. The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.77 percent and nearly 70,000 recoveries have been reported every day in the month of September, according to the Health Ministry.

    04:45 GMT – AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine

    AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said.

    “On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

    04:15 GMT – Italy reports 1,501 new coronavirus cases

    Italy’s health ministry has reported 1,501 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths, bringing the total number of cases to more than 286,000 and at least 35,603 deaths.

    According to the ministry data, infections have been steadily increasing for the past six weeks, mostly among Italians returning from vacation. The number of people in intensive care has also increased from 121 to 182.

    03:50 GMT – Domestic air travel recovers in Wuhan

    Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say on Sunday.

    The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals.

    Since re-opening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport. It said 64,700 passengers were transported on 500 domestic flights on Friday.

    03:20 GMT – Australia’s Victoria takes small step in easing virus restrictions

    Lockdown restrictions in Australia’s state of Victoria will ease very slightly as of Monday, state officials said, as the number of new daily coronavirus cases continued to fall in the country’s hotspot, according to Reuters news agency.

    Announcing a 3-billion Australian dollar ($2.2bn) package in financial aid to businesses in Victoria, home to a quarter of Australia’s population, officials also said there were 41 new coronavirus infections on Sunday and seven more deaths.

    The numbers confirm a steady downward trend from a peak of more than 700 cases in a single day in early August. Victoria accounts for about 75 percent of Australia’s more than 26,600 COVID-19 cases and its capital, Melbourne, has been under strict lockdown for several weeks.

  • Sunday, September 13

    09:15 GMT – Scores arrested at protests in Australia’s coronavirus hotspot

    Police in Australia’s Victoria state have arrested 74 people and fined 176 for breaching public health orders as scattered protests against a weeks-long coronavirus lockdown continued for a second straight day across Melbourne.

    A riot squad marched through fruit and vegetable stalls at the city’s landmark, the Queen Victoria market, before the scuffling with protesters erupted, with some people throwing fruit at the police, television footage showed.

    Victoria Police said in a statement that there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protests, but there were no immediately known injuries to the police.

    09:00 GMT – Greece has financial flexibility for tax relief package: Minister

    Greece has the financial flexibility to implement 6.8bn euros ($8bn) of tax relief measures, and the package has been agreed with EU institutions, its finance minister said.

    Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis unveiled the package on Saturday saying it would boost jobs amid an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    “The country can afford it because it has the financial flexibility,” Christos Staikouras told Real FM radio on Sunday. “Cash reserves stand at 37.8bn euros ($44.77bn).”

    08:45 GMT – Philippines reports 3,372 new coronavirus cases, 79 more deaths

    The Philippines has recorded 3,372 new coronavirus cases and 79 more deaths.

    In a bulletin, the Department of Health said the Southeast Asian country’s confirmed cases of infections had risen to 261,216, the highest in the region, while its death toll had climbed to 4,371.

    08:30 GMT – Indonesia reports 3,636 new COVID-19 cases ahead of curbs in capital

    Indonesia has reported 3,636 new coronavirus infections and 73 new deaths, data from Health Ministry’s website showed.

    The latest report brought the total number of infections to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723, the highest number of deaths in Southeast Asia.

    The country’s capital Jakarta will reimpose stricter wide-scale restrictions starting on Monday to control spread of the virus in the mega city.

    08:15 GMT – India interior minister back in hospital after recovering from COVID-19

    India’s interior minister Amit Shah has been admitted to the hospital, nearly two weeks after he was treated for coronavirus.

    Shah, a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the virtual number-two in his cabinet, was admitted to the government-run All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the capital New Delhi, the hospital said in a statement.

    “Honourable Home Minister was discharged from AIIMS, New Delhi, after post Covid care on August 30,” the statement read.  “As per advise given at discharge, he has now been admitted for complete medical checkup before parliament session for 1-2 days.”

    Shah is the highest-profile Indian politician to have been infected with the coronavirus.

    08:00 GMT – Austria experiencing second virus wave: chancellor

    Austria is experiencing the start of a second wave of coronavirus infections, its chancellor has said, as cases spike upwards in line with other EU countries.

    From Friday to Saturday, the Alpine nation of nearly nine million people reported 869 new cases – more than half of those in the capital Vienna.

    “What we are experiencing is the beginning of the second wave,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement, appealing to the population to stick to anti-virus measures and reduce social contacts.

    07:45 GMT – Russia reports 5,449 new coronavirus cases, 94 deaths

    Russia has reported 5,449 new coronavirus cases , pushing its national tally to 1,062,811, the fourth largest in the world.

    Authorities said 94 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 18,578.

    07:30 GMT – S Korea eases social distancing for two weeks ahead of major holiday

    South Korea has eased its tough social distancing policy for the next two weeks in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, with new daily novel coronavirus cases hovering stubbornly within triple digits.

    The government lifted a ban on onsite dining after 9 pm though still requires restaurants and cafes to restrict seating and record patrons’ names and contact details.

    While leisure facilities such as gyms and internet cafes are also allowed to reopen, under so-called phase two restrictions, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, while spectators are banned from sporting events.

    07:00 GMT – Czech Republic sees record rise in virus cases for third straight day

    The Czech Republic has reported its largest single-day increase in new coronavirus infections for a third straight day, recording 1,541 cases, according to Health Ministry data.

    It was the fifth day in a row with new infections above 1,000 as the country of 10.7 million sees a surge in cases that is among the fastest in the European Union.

    The government has tightened rules requiring face mask use but aims to avoid harsh lockdowns.

    06:30 GMT – India’s cases rise to 4.75 million with another spike

    India has registered a single-day spike of 94,372 new confirmed coronavirus cases, driving the country’s overall tally to 4.75 million.

    The Health Ministry reported 1,114 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 78,586.

    Even as infections are growing faster in India than anywhere else in the world, the number of people recovering from the virus has also risen sharply. The country’s recovery rate stands at 77.77 percent and nearly 70,000 recoveries have been reported every day in the month of September, according to the Health Ministry.

    04:45 GMT – AstraZeneca resumes UK trials of COVID-19 vaccine

    AstraZeneca has resumed British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, after getting the green light from safety watchdogs, the company said.

    “On 6 September, the standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said in a statement.

    04:15 GMT – Italy reports 1,501 new coronavirus cases

    Italy’s health ministry has reported 1,501 new coronavirus cases and six more deaths, bringing the total number of cases to more than 286,000 and at least 35,603 deaths.

    According to the ministry data, infections have been steadily increasing for the past six weeks, mostly among Italians returning from vacation. The number of people in intensive care has also increased from 121 to 182.

    03:50 GMT – Domestic air travel recovers in Wuhan

    Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say on Sunday.

    The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a tidal wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals.

    Since re-opening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport. It said 64,700 passengers were transported on 500 domestic flights on Friday.

     


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