The World Health Organization is warning that opening up societies too quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic is a “recipe for disaster.” The organization’s director general said, “the more control countries have over the virus, the more they can open up,” and insists that countries that are serious about opening up must also be serious about suppressing transmission.
Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, “This may seem like an impossible balance, but it’s not.”
Tedros cited four key points that countries, communities and individuals should focus on:
• preventing “amplifying events” – as the virus thrives on clusters
• protecting vulnerable groups
• people taking steps individually to protect themselves
• finding, isolating, testing and caring for cases, while tracing and quarantining their contacts.
On the other hand, Donald Trump’s new pandemic adviser, Dr. Scott Atlas, dubbed by some as the ‘Anti-Fauci’, says coronavirus infections and deaths are declining in the hardest-hit states. Appearing with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for a panel discussion on Monday, Atlas said hospitalizations, length of hospital stays and mortality are also declining.
“The American public should feel cautiously optimistic here about what’s going on,” Atlas said. “There is no need for fear at this point.”
He downplayed the risk of infections in young people and agreed with DeSantis that college football needs to be played this year and “can be done safely.” Atlas also downplayed the need to test people for the coronavirus when they don’t have symptoms.
Trump has frequently and absurdly maintained that if fewer people were tested there would be fewer cases of Covid-19.
The US has more than 6 million cases of Covid-19 and over 185,000 deaths.
Detroit turned an island park into an extraordinary memorial garden on Monday as cars packed with families slowly passed hundreds of photos of residents who died from COVID-19.
Mayor Mike Duggan declared a Detroit Memorial Day to honour the city’s 1,500-plus victims of the pandemic. Hearses led solemn processions around Belle Isle Park in the Detroit River, where more than 900 photos were displayed.
Detroit’s director of arts and culture, Rochelle Riley, said organizers hoped the memorial would “wake people up to the devastating effect of the pandemic” and also “bring some peace to families whose loved ones didn’t have the funerals they deserved.”
Indoor dining will resume Friday with limited capacity in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.
Restaurants can have 25% capacity, which includes maintaining social distancing between tables. Masks will be required except when eating or drinking.
“Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against #COVID19,” Murphy wrote in a tweet Monday announcing updated regulations.
New Jersey has had more than 190,000 positive cases, with over 14,000 fatalities.
Italy registered nearly 1,000 more coronavirus cases on Monday, far fewer than recent daily new caseloads – but far fewer swab tests had been done. Italy now counts 269,214 confirmed infections. Many of those testing positive in recent weeks have been travellers returning from vacations or their close contacts.
Sardinia, which had relatively few cases for weeks, registered 79 new infections Monday, with clusters of infections linked to crowded discos or holiday-goers’ parties on the Mediterranean island.
The regions with the most daily new cases were Campania, which includes Naples, and Lazio, which includes Rome.
The Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar has reported its highest single-day total of confirmed COVID-19 cases since its first cases were confirmed in late March.
The Health Ministry announced 95 new cases Monday, bringing its total to 882. Of those, 354 are listed as recovered, and six died.
The surge of new cases over the past week has mostly been in the western state of Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh and hosts several major displacement camps due to years of civil conflict. The government responded by instituting a “Stay-at-Home” program for the entire state. It also banned unnecessary and unauthorized travel.
The European Union
The European Union is joining the COVID-19 vaccine alliance COVAX with the aim of helping to provide access to any future vaccine for people in countries that might not be able to afford it.
The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, announced Monday that it was contributing €400 million ($622.7 million) to support the scheme.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the aim is to work together “in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle income countries.”
But the commission refused to say whether it wants to use COVAX as another means to secure access for relatively-wealthy Europe to any future vaccine.
Activists warn that without stronger attempts to hold political, pharmaceutical and health leaders accountable, any vaccines could be hoarded by rich countries in a race to inoculate their populations first.
British authorities say 16 coronavirus cases have been linked to a flight from Greece to Cardiff, Wales and everyone aboard has been told to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Public Health Wales says it is contacting almost 200 people who were aboard the Tui flight from the Greek island of Zante on Tuesday.
Gwen Lowe of Public Health Wales says 30 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the last week among people who returned from Zante on several flights. She says the number is expected to rise.
The UK. requires people arriving from overseas to quarantine for two weeks, unless they are coming from one of more than 70 countries and territories considered at low risk from the coronavirus. Greece is on the exemption list.
Romanian government is lifting several restrictions imposed earlier to curb the coronavirus, despite consistently rising number of new infections and deaths.
The government announced Monday it will let indoor dining, movie theatres and performing art venues restart on Tuesday. They must comply with social distancing and mask-wearing rules.
India reported more than 78,000 new coronavirus cases and 984 more deaths on Monday, increasing its total fatalities to 64,469.
India has had more than 3.6 million reported virus cases and now has the fastest-growing reported caseload of any country, seeing more than 75,000 new cases for five straight days. The virus hit India’s major cities and is now fast spreading in smaller towns and rural areas.
Source: Travel Industry Today
A RECIPE FOR DISASTER: WHO warns against reopening too quickly and other Covid issues