Germany reports highest daily rise in coronavirus cases in a month


Germany has reported its highest daily increase in coronavirus cases in a month after managing to contain its outbreak better than comparable large European nations.

The Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control centre, listed 770 new confirmed cases, taking the country’s total to 188,534.

A flurry of positive tests this week from an outbreak at a slaughterhouse in the western region of Guetersloh contributed the biggest daily increase since May 20.

The German government has stuck to its course of gradually reopening the country while seeking to clamp down swiftly on localised outbreaks.

A free app launched on Tuesday to help trace people who may have been exposed to the virus has already been downloaded 9.6 million times in Germany, which has a population of 83 million.

Japan released a similar app on Friday, also using technology developed by Apple and Google. Officials say data will only be recorded and stored in individual users’ phones and deleted after 14 days to protect their privacy.

“We hope a widespread use of this app will lead to prevention of infections,” Japanese health minister Katsunobu Kato said.

Residents in Beijing

China declared a fresh outbreak in Beijing under control after confirming 25 new cases among 360,000 people tested. That was up by just four from a day earlier.

A Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention official said the number of cases was expected to fall soon in the outbreak centred on Beijing’s main wholesale market. The capital has confirmed 183 new cases over the past week.

The 25 new cases reported on Friday in Beijing were among 32 nationwide in China, four among Chinese residents who had returned from overseas.

The pandemic is waxing and waning in many places, with cases soaring in Indonesia and India, Brazil and Mexico but appearing to be under control or contained in Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand.

India recorded 13,586 newly confirmed cases on Friday, raising its total to 380,532, but shops, factories and places of worship have been allowed to reopen while schools and cinemas remain closed.

Infections surged in rural areas after hundreds of thousands of migrant workers left cities after losing jobs in a lockdown announced in late March. Such precautions are now restricted to high-risk “containment” zones.

In South Korea, outbreaks have inspired second-guessing on whether officials were too quick to ease social distancing guidelines in April after a first wave of infections waned.

Officials reported 49 cases on Friday as the virus continued to spread in the densely populated capital area of Seoul, where half of its 51 million people live. About 30 to 50 new cases have been confirmed per day since late May.

Singaporeans were able to wine and dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and socialise with up to five people at a time from Friday, after the city-state removed most of its lockdown restrictions.

Coronavirus has infected more than 8.5 million people worldwide and killed over 454,000, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the US, which has reported the most confirmed cases at nearly 2.2 million, states have pushed ahead with emerging from full or partial shutdowns despite surges in new cases in many places, including Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California.

Aid group Doctors without Borders said at least 10 cases had been confirmed at one of the world’s largest refugee camps, the sprawling Dadaab complex in Kenya.

Humanitarian organisations have warned that the virus could have devastating impacts on crowded refugee camps, especially as travel restrictions have made the delivery of aid increasingly difficult.

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