China braced for coronavirus resurgence amid fresh cases


China’s capital is braced for a resurgence of coronavirus after 79 new cases were reported in recent days in a city that had not seen a case of local transmission in more than a month.

China, where the virus first appeared late last year, reported 49 new coronavirus cases on Monday, 36 of them in Beijing.

All have been traced to a wholesale market that supplies much of the city’s meat and vegetables.

Beijing has closed the Xinfadi market, ordered testing of all its workers and is requiring anyone who travelled there to self-isolate for two weeks.

Chinese health authorities said the strain of virus was similar to that seen in Europe, but there was no immediate evidence of a connection.

In response, Beijing has suspended the restart of some classes and reversed the relaxation of some social isolation measures.

Neighbourhoods close to the market have been put on lockdown and more than 76,000 people tested.

China’s authoritarian communist political system and tight social controls enable tracking of residents’ movements through the use of social media.

Entry to office buildings and grocery stores requires proof on a smartphone that the person has not travelled to areas where the virus is still active.

India’s Health Ministry reported a jump of more than 11,000 new infections nationwide for a third consecutive day on Monday.

The country’s home minister offered 500 train carriages for use as makeshift coronavirus hospital wards as New Delhi struggles to contain a spike in cases.

The Indian capital has about 9,000 beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients in public and private hospitals, but a state government panel of experts has said it will need at least 15,000 beds by the end of June.

A security guard checks the body temperature of a woman before entering a clothing marketin Jakarta, Indonesia

Pakistan’s upward spiral of new virus infections neared 145,000 on Monday amid warnings from political leaders that the numbers could double by the end of June and were likely to hit a stunning 1.2 million by the end of July if Pakistan’s 220 million people continue to flout basic precautions such as mask wearing.

In the US, cases in nearly half of states are rising.

The US has already recorded more than two million confirmed coronavirus cases and upward of 115,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Upset by “rampant” violations of New York’s pandemic-fighting restrictions, governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to reinstate closings in areas where local governments fail to enforce the rules.

Manhattan and Long Island’s Hamptons were singled out as problem areas by Mr Cuomo, who cited 25,000 complaints statewide of reopening violations.

The large gatherings, social distancing violations and lax face covering enforcement endanger the state’s fragile progress in the fight against coronavirus, Mr Cuomo said, adding that many complaints involve bars and restaurants.

“We are not kidding around with this. You’re talking about jeopardising people’s lives,” Mr Cuomo said.

New York officials are trying to avoid the fate of states seeing a surge in new cases after reopening.

New York’s coronavirus-related hospital admissions are declining and the state recorded 23 deaths on Saturday, the lowest one-day coronavirus death toll since the early days of the crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed America’s lack of centralised authority for its inability to stem the spread of the virus, while saying Russia was “working quite steadily and getting out of this situation … with minimal losses”.

In the US, “this is not happening”, Mr Putin said, noting the central and regional governments work more closely in Russia.

Russia, nevertheless, has recorded more than half a million infections and nearly 7,000 virus deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University count.

South Korea is also among countries seeking to prevent a resurgence of the outbreak, reporting 37 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said 25 of the cases came from the Seoul area, where health authorities are scrambling to trace infections linked to entertainment and leisure activities, church gatherings, warehouse workers and door-to-door sellers.

In Peru, a Catholic Mass was held for the thousands who have died in the pandemic that is burning across Peru and South America as a whole.

Workers stick portraits of people who died with Covid-19 inside the cathedral in Lima, Peru

Archbishop Carlos Castillo used his broadcast homily to criticise a health system he said “is based on egotism and on business and not on mercy and solidarity with the people”.

Covid-19 has taken at least 6,400 lives in the nation of some 32 million people – a toll second only to that of Brazil within South America.

In France, restaurants in the Paris region will be allowed to join those in the rest of the country in opening indoor seating starting on Monday.

From June 22, all nursery schools, primary schools and junior high schools will be open and mandatory for all students.

France is reopening its borders with other European countries and will start allowing visitors from other continents on July 1.

In Africa, where the virus continues to spread, Ghana’s health minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has contracted Covid-19 and is undergoing treatment in hospital.

Ghana has one of the highest number of confirmed cases in Africa because of its robust testing, with more than 11,400 cases.

Health authorities have reported 51 deaths.

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