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Weekly death toll in French nursing homes doubles to 73 – latest updates

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Covid-19hasnowkilledover439,000peopleworldwidesincetheoutbreakstartedinChinalastyear,

Covid-19 has now killed over 439,000 people worldwide since the outbreak started in China last year, according to tracking websites. Here are the developments for June 16:

Weekly death toll in French nursing homes doubles to 73 – latest updates Weekly death toll in French nursing homes doubles to 73 – latest updates business Employees demonstrate outside a nursing home of the Korian group, one of the market leaders in the lucrative industry of providing care and assisted living facilities for older adults, Monday, May 25, 2020 in Paris. (AFP)

Weekly death toll in French nursing homes doubles to 73

The number of people who died from Covid-19 in France rose by 138 to 29,547, as the health ministry included weekly data for the death toll in nursing homes.

The number of people who died in hospitals increased by 38 to 19,090 on Tuesday, compared to 29 on Monday and an average of 25 over the past seven days.

The ministry also reported that in the past seven days 73 people died of the virus in nursing homes, more than double the 34 reported a week ago and 23 reported two weeks ago.

Italy reports 34 new deaths 

Italy reported 34 more virus-related fatalities, bringing the country's death toll to 34,405.

The slowing trend in deaths in May continued into mid-June, suggesting that the worst of the pandemic was behind the country.

But health and political authorities have continued to urge precaution, fearing a possible second wave of contagion. The government has also warned that if official data showed a new spike in infections or active clusters, it was ready to impose new restrictions.

The tally of active infections again fell, with a decline of 1,340 that cut the total to 24,569.

Turkey' virus cases top 181,000 mark

Turkey confirmed 1,467 more cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total tally to 181,298, according to its health minister.

The total number of recoveries from the disease reached 153,379, while 732 patients remain in intensive care, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, citing the Health Ministry data.

The country's death toll from the virus rose to 4,842, as it reported 17 more fatalities in the past 24 hours.

Health care professionals conducted nearly 47,000 tests to detect the disease in the past day, raising the total count to over 2.72 million.

Iraq confirms 60 additional deaths
Iraq confirmed 60 fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 712.

The health ministry said 1,385 additional cases have been recorded, taking infections to 22,700, while the number of recoveries stands at 9,862.

It announced Saturday a new weeklong curfew will be imposed from 1500GMT to 0200GMT starting Sunday.

In May, Iraq reimposed a nationwide curfew until June 14 due to a spike in infections.

Bangladesh reports 53 new deaths
Bangladesh reported 53 new deaths from the virus in a day, the highest in a daily count, bringing the death toll to 1,262.

Nasima Sultana of the Health Directorate said 3,862 people tested positive, raising the total caseload to 94,481.

The new figures came amid calls to control new infections by locking down many areas in the capital, Dhaka, and elsewhere. Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million, has only 61 laboratories for testing. 

Experts say the country’s healthcare facilities have already been overwhelmed.

US, Canada extend border closing until July 21st

Canada and the US have agreed to extend their agreement to keep their border closed to non-essential travel to July 21 during the virus pandemic.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday's agreement extends the closure by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April and May.

Many Canadians fear a reopening.

Americans who are returning to the US and Canadians who are returning to Canada are exempted from the border closure.

UK virus-related deaths rise to 52,000 by June 5

Britain’s statistics agency says the total number of virus-related deaths across the UK has reached almost 52,000 by the week ending June 5.

The updated figure from the Office for National Statistics is around 10,000 higher than the government’s daily tally, which are based on the initial cause of death assessments. Those from the statistics agency are collated from death registrations, which can take a couple of weeks to be issued.

The statistics agency also said there were around 64,500 more deaths across the UK than the five-year average over the period of the pandemic.

The UK recorded its first virus-related death in early March.

Germany says pets with virus must be reported

The German government plans to introduce an obligation that any cases of coronavirus in pets be reported to authorities. It says the move is needed to assist research into the virus.

Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said Tuesday that the plan is for the move to be considered by parliament next month.

Kloeckner said that there will be no obligation for people to test their pets, but it would make sense to do so in certain situations – for example, if a cat living in a household with human coronavirus cases itself shows symptoms. She stressed there’s no evidence so far that pets can transmit Covid-19 to humans.

Germany has about 31 million pets and 83 million people. The head of the country’s animal disease research centre said there has only been one known animal case there so far.

Iran says virus death toll tops 9,000

Iran said a third straight day of more than 100 coronavirus deaths took its overall toll past 9,000, attributing the spike to increased travel by its citizens.

Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari warned the bleak figures could get even worse unless people stayed at home for the upcoming long weekend.

She said the increase in the daily toll was "due in large part to people's travel in recent weeks".

"We ask you to avoid unnecessary trips during the upcoming holidays so as not to see an increase in statistics in the future."

Iran has a public holiday on Wednesday, the last day of the working week, making the upcoming weekend a three-day break.

Lari said the 115 new deaths in the past 24 hours took Iran's overall toll to 9,065.

She said another 2,563 people tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 192,439 since the start of Iran's outbreak.

Philippines reports 364 new cases, 5 new deaths

The Philippines' health ministry reported 364 new coronavirus infections and five more deaths, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 26,781and fatalities to 1,103.

The Department of Health (DOH) also said 301 more patients had recovered from Covid-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 6,552.

Moscow reopens museums and terraces 

Residents of Moscow were able to return to museums and summer terraces for the first time in more than two months as the Russian capital rolled back more coronavirus curbs despite continuing to record over 1,000 new daily infections.

Starting on Tuesday, museums, libraries and zoos in the city of nearly 13 million are reopening their doors, albeit with continued limits on the number of visitors at any one time. Dentists are getting back to business too.

Authorities are allowing sporting events to resume, though spectators must take up no more than 10% of a given venue's capacity.

Moscow began to lift its lockdown last week, allowing residents to leave their homes, freely use public transport and travel across the city in their vehicles without any restrictions.

Malaysia reports 11 new cases, no new deaths

Malaysian health authorities reported 11 new confirmed cases, raising the cumulative total to 8,505 infections.

Total fatalities in the country remain at 121, with no new deaths reported. 

Indonesia reports 1,106 new infections, 33 deaths

Indonesia confirmed 1,106 new infections and 33 more deaths, taking the number of cases past the 40,000-mark, its health ministry said.

The country's total number of infections was40,400 and fatalities 2,231, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said, adding that 15,703 patients had recovered.

UK death toll hits 53,077 including suspected cases

The United Kingdom's suspected Covid-19 death toll has hit 53,077, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources that underline the country's status as one of the worst hit in the world.

The Reuters tally comprises fatalities where Covid-19 was mentioned on death certificates in England, Wales and NorthernIreland up to June 5, and up to June 7 in Scotland. It also includes more recent hospital deaths.

Unlike the lower death toll published daily by the government, the death certificate figures include suspected cases.

Ukraine president's wife hospitalised with virus

The wife of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has been hospitalized with double-sided pneumonia after getting infected with the new coronavirus.

Zelenskiy’s office said in a statement Tuesday that Olena Zelenska’s condition was stable and the president himself and the couple’s children tested negative for the virus on Monday.

Zelenska said she tested positive for the virus on Friday.

Ukraine's authorities started to gradually ease lockdown restrictions in late May, resuming the operation of public transport, reopening malls and gyms. On Monday, the country’s authorities resumed international flights to several countries.

Pakistan moves to seal off high-risk areas

Authorities in Pakistan are taking action to seal off high-risk areas in the country's 20 biggest cities after an increase in coronavirus infections.

Pakistan’s national command and control centre says raids are being carried out to impose fines and shut markets, industries and shops where social distancing regulations were being violated.

The sealing of high-risk areas began after Pakistan reported a big jump in Covid-19 deaths and a steady increase in infections.

Pakistan put its entire population of 220 million under lockdown from March until last month, when Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government loosened restrictions, saying it was necessary to save the country’s economy.

Critics say the government's gamble resulted into a sharp increase in infections and deaths.

On Tuesday, Pakistan reported 111 new fatalities. It raised the overall death toll from the virus to 2,839 among 148,921 confirmed cases.

Patients filling beds in India's largest cities

India recorded another 10,000-plus coronavirus infections as patients swamp health services in its largest cities.

The health ministry on Tuesday also reported a 24-hour increase of 380 deaths due, driving the death toll to 9,900.

The 10,667 new cases raise the nation's total to 343,091, fourth-highest in the world behind the US, Brazil and Russia. The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons, such as limited testing.

Maharashtra, the western state that is home to Mumbai, India's financial and entertainment capital, continues to have the highest state toll.
Mumbai, Chennai and the capital New Delhi are seeing rising infections swamp their health services.

Delhi is a growing concern with the federal government criticizing its contact tracing and hospital capacity. The capital has about 10,000 beds dedicated to Covid-19 patients, half of which are already occupied. Hotels and sports stadiums are being considered for use as field hospitals.

Russia's coronavirus cases near 550,000

Russia reported 8,248 new cases, bringing its nationwide infection tally to 545,458.

The authorities said 193 people had died of the virus in the last day, raising the official death toll to 7,284. 

Hungary set to end disputed emergency virus powers

Hungary is set to revoke anti-coronavirus emergency powers that triggered international criticism amid fears of a power grab by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Dominated by Orban's ruling Fidesz party, parliament is expected to approve the lifting of a "state of danger" and related special powers to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

The state of danger would then be formally lifted later on this week when the text of the legislation is published.

However, several prominent government-critical NGOs have warned in a joint statement that revocation of the special powers would be an "optical illusion" leaving the authorities with enhanced powers.

A "coronavirus protection act" adopted by parliament on March 30 had enabled the cabinet to rule by decree until it decided to end the state of danger.

Orban, who implemented a relatively early lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, said that ruling by decree allowed him to respond quickly and effectively during the emergency.

Saudi faces perilous Hajj call as virus spikes

Saudi Arabia is expected to scale back or call off this year's Hajj pilgrimage for the first time in its modern history, observers say, a perilous decision as coronavirus cases spike.

Muslim nations are pressing Riyadh to give its much-delayed decision on whether the annual ritual will go ahead as scheduled in late July.

But as the kingdom negotiates a call fraught with political and economic risks in a tinderbox region, time is running out to organise logistics for one of the world's largest mass gatherings.

A full-scale Hajj, which last year drew about 2.5 million pilgrims, appears increasingly unlikely after authorities advised Muslims in late March to defer preparations due to the fast-spreading disease.

Thailand reports no new coronavirus cases or deaths

Thailand reported no new infections or deaths and marked 22 successive days without a domestic transmission.

The country has recorded a total 58 deaths related to Covid-19 among some 3,135 confirmed cases, of which 2,993 patients have recovered.

It was the third time in six days that no cases were reported. All recent cases have been found in quarantine among those returning from abroad, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, a spokeswoman for the government's Covid-19 Administration Centre.

Philippines puts city back under virus lockdown

Philippine officials have placed a central city back under strict lockdown and retained quarantine restrictions in the capital for another two weeks as coronavirus infections continue to spike alarmingly.

President Rodrigo Duterte approved in a televised meeting Monday night with key Cabinet officials a recommendation to lock down Cebu city anew and retain quarantine restrictions in metropolitan Manila where many of the nearly 26,500 infections and more than 1,000 deaths have been recorded.

First imposed in mid-March, the Covid-19 restrictions in Metro-Manila, the seat of government of more than 12 million people, have been among the longest in the world.

“The battle with Covid isn’t over,” Duterte said. “I can’t stop you from going out and I can’t catch all of you ... don’t blame us. Do not forget that we warned you about the grave consequences.”

The Philippines has been under intense pressure to slowly reopen the economy, which is under threat of a looming recession, despite continuing viral outbreaks.

New Zealand is no longer coronavirus-free

New Zealand is no longer free from the new coronavirus after health officials say two women who flew from London to see a dying parent had tested positive.

But before they were tested, the women had been given an exemption to leave quarantine on compassionate grounds and had travelled from Auckland to Wellington by car.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said that as part of their travel plan, the women had no contact with any people or any public facilities on their road trip.

Nevertheless, the new cases have sparked a round of testing in New Zealand for anybody who might have been close to the women.

That includes passengers and staff on their flights, which arrived via Brisbane in Australia, other people at the Auckland hotel they initially stayed at in quarantine, and a family member they met in Wellington.

The women remain in isolation in Wellington and have delayed the funeral of their parent until they have recovered. 

Until Tuesday, New Zealand had gone more than three weeks without any new cases and had declared that everybody who had contracted the virus had recovered, aside from the 22 people who died .

Beijing city official warns virus situation is 'extremely severe'

A Beijing city official warns that the situation in the capital was "extremely severe" as a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases prompted mass testing and lockdowns.

"Currently, the most important and urgent task is to resolutely prevent and control the epidemic," city spokesman Xu Hejian told a press briefing, adding the city must "take the most determined, decisive and strictest measures" to bring the new outbreak under control.

Shanghai to quarantine all who arrive from risk areas

Shanghai will quarantine all people coming to the city from mid to high-risk Covid-19 areas in China for 14 days, a city official said amid concerns about a resurgence of the disease following a cluster outbreak in Beijing.

Wu Jinglei, director of Shanghai's health commission, told reporters during a briefing individuals coming into the city from high-risk areas will be placed under centralised quarantine. 

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 378 to 186,839 – RKI

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 378 to 186,839, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by nine to 8,800, the tally showed.

Latin America and Caribbean deaths surpass 80,000

Latin America and the Caribbean on Monday passed 80,000 Covid-19 deaths, more than half in Brazil as the virus accelerates across the region, according to an AFP count based on official figures.

Since the disease first spread in Latin America in March, a total of 80,505 deaths have been recorded, of which 43,959 occurred in Brazil, the second country in the world in number of fatalities after the United States.

Beijing reports 27 new cases

China on Tuesday reported another 27 domestically transmitted coronavirus cases in Beijing, where a fresh cluster linked to a wholesale food market has sparked WHO concern and prompted a huge trace and test programme.

The new cases bring the number of infections confirmed in the Chinese capital over the last five days to 106, as city officials locked down more than 20 communities in the city and tested tens of thousands of people.

All indoor sports and entertainment venues in the city were shut down on Monday and some other cities across China warned they would quarantine those arriving from Beijing.

The National Health Commission also reported four new domestic infections in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, plus another in southwestern Sichuan province.

US Representative Ilhan Omar's father dies due to coronavirus

Father of Somalia-born US Representative Ilhan Omar died from complications arising from the novel coronavirus, local media reported.

"It is with tremendous sadness and pain to say goodbye to my father," the Minnesota congresswoman tweeted late on Monday. "No words can describe what he meant to me and all who knew and loved him."

Omar and her father Nur Mohamed came to the United States as refugees in 1995 from Somalia during the country's civil war and eventually settled in Minneapolis, according to Politico.

Mexico's deaths now over 17,500

Mexico passed the grim milestone of 150,000 total confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, as the health ministry reported 3,427 new infections along with 439 additional fatalities.

There are now a total 150,264 confirmed coronavirus cases and 17,580 deaths, though the government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the official count.

Brazil reports additional 627 deaths

Brazil's death toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic rose to nearly 44,000 on Monday, according to health ministry data, as the country continued easing restrictions on circulation despite the world's second-worst outbreak after the US.

Brazil registered 627 new fatalities on Monday, down from an average of nearly 1,000 over the past week. Reporting of fatalities typically slows over the weekend.

Although Brazil's official death toll from the pandemic has risen to 43,959, the true impact is likely far greater than the data show, health experts say, because of a lack of widespread testing in Latin America's largest country.

The health ministry registered about 20,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total to 888,271 infections.

US airlines threaten to ban passengers 

US airline passengers who refuse to wear facial coverings could have their flying privileges revoked, the industry's main lobby group said on Monday.

As of now, major US airlines may prevent anyone not wearing a mask from boarding and provide the coverings to passengers who have none. Once on board, however, flight attendants have little power to enforce the policy if passengers remove their masks.

Carriers implementing the new policy include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, Airlines for America said in a statement.

The airlines will clearly inform passengers about their individual policies on face coverings before flying, followed by an announcement with specific details on board, it said.

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