The metropolis of Tokyo is raising its coronavirus alert to its highest level, following reports of record high new day by day cases, governor Yuriko Koike has said. She urged people to take measures to prevent the spread of the lethal disease, but didn’t yet ask businesses to curtail activities.
Across the Pacific, US deaths from Covid-19 surpassed 250,000, marking a grim milestone as the nation struggles to contain a new surge in cases. New York City said it is going to shut all schools after coronavirus infections crossed a critical threshold. New York state has the most US fatalities, at more than 34,000. Texas is second, followed by California and Florida.
There was once alarm and caution in the southern hemisphere as mannered. South Australia began one of the most world’s toughest lockdowns, with even outside exercise and dog-walking banned as the state tries to contain a cluster of Covid-19 infections.
In Tokyo, new coronavirus cases reached 534 on Thursday, taking the cumulative complete to 36,256. Japan’s day by day Covid-19 cases rose to a record of more than 2,000 on Wednesday. Japan’s capital raised its Covid-19 alert to the highest of four levels, as day by day infections topped 500 for the first time.
New York’s recovery from the outbreak suffered twin blows with the announcement of citywide school closings and the warning of massive cuts to public-transit service. Parents of hundreds of thousands of kids will have to find alternative arrangements by Thursday, after mayor Invoice de Blasio said the city had reached a 3% positivity rate that triggered a transitory halt to in-class instruction.
Russia has resumed the vaccination of new volunteers in its trial for its Sputnik V vaccine after a short pause as Moscow moves to accelerate plans to inoculate the population. It comes as Russia topped 2 million Covid-19 infections, pushing its hospital system to the brink.
WHO warns of second wave across West Asia
As coronavirus cases surge across West Asia, the regional director for the World Health Association (WHO) said on Thursday the only way to keep away from mass deaths is for countries to quickly tighten restrictions.
In a press briefing from Cairo, Ahmed al-Mandhari, director of WHO’s eastern Mediterranean region, which comprises most of West Asia, expressed concern that countries in the area were lowering their guard.
The fundamentals of pandemic response, from social distancing to mask wearing, “are still not being fully practised in our region”, he lamented.