Global cases hit grim 10m mark

Top News | AGENCIES 29 Jun 2020

More than 10 million cases of the new coronavirus have been officially declared around the world, with half of them in Europe and the United States.

At least 10,003,942 infections - including 498,779 deaths - have been registered globally.

In the mainland, where the coronavirus first emerged, Covid-19 tests were extended to newly reopened salons amid a drop in cases. But no positive cases were found in Beijing's beauty and barbershops, a further sign that the city's recent outbreak has been largely brought under control.

Earlier in the month, Beijing temporarily shut a huge wholesale food market, reclosed schools and locked down some neighborhoods in a bid to limit a resurgence of the virus.

Anyone leaving Beijing is required to have a negative test result within the past seven days. Tens of millions traveled during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that ended on Saturday, with no outbreaks reported immediately.

But in America, some states backtracked on easing the lockdown as cases increased. In the southwestern state of Missouri, 371 employees at a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant tested positive.

US Vice President Mike Pence canceled a Florida campaign bus tour after more than 9,500 new cases were reported in the state on Saturday, surpassing the previous day's total by more than 600. The figures come as officials move to reclose beaches and discourage bar gatherings.

Concerned about the resurgence, the European Union seems almost certain to bar Americans in the short term from entering the bloc, EU diplomats said. While the rise partly reflects expanded testing, experts say there is evidence the virus is making a comeback, including increasing deaths and hospitalizations as well as higher percentages of positive tests.

European leaders are taking no chances. German authorities renewed a lockdown in a western region of about 500,000 people after about 1,300 slaughterhouse workers tested positive.

However, the British government is set to scrap the 14-day home quarantine requirement that was imposed earlier this month for international arrivals.

Meanwhile, South Korea said yesterday it will begin allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports games as it seeks to return to normal.

"We will take phased measures including allowing spectators at sports events," health minister Park Neung Hoo said without elaborating.

The move comes despite alarm over a second wave of infections in recent weeks, with around 35 to 50 new cases a day, mostly in the Seoul metropolitan area where half of the population lives.

Of 62 new cases reported yesterday - taking the country's total to 12,715 - 40 were domestic infections while 22 were imported.

Indonesia reported 1,198 new cases and 34 deaths yesterday, taking the total number of infections to 54,010 and fatalities to 2,754.

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