On a day when the number of the world’s total infections zooms through the 16 million mark, and the US total for deaths is about to reach 150,000 people, Thailand again registers a mere 3 new cases, again all imported. The USA, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa are the world’s Top 5 coronavirus hotspots with a host of South American countries now posting worryingly high numbers of new daily cases.
In other snippets of Covid news from around the world….
• North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has convened an emergency meeting after the country’s first suspected case of Covid-19 was reported.
Brazil’s health ministry reported 51,147 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the nationwide total to 2.39 million.
• Yesterday marked the fourth day in a row that Brazil has reported more than 50,000 new Covid-19 cases and this week marks a weekly record of 321,623 new cases.
• American medical experts are urging political leaders to “shut down” the US to contain the pandemic after the country surpassed 4 million Covid-19cases.
• Norway will impose a mandatory 10 day quarantine for all travellers returning from Spain, due to a renewed spike in coronavirus cases.
“Norway advises against all non-essential travel for several countries within Europe including Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain and some regions of Sweden.”
The restrictions will apply until August 20. The UK has also announced a mandatory 14 day quarantine for people returning from Spain.
• The US Centre for Disease Control has put “a sound set of guidelines” on how to reopen schools safely in late August, early September.
• Out of the blue, Vietnam recorded its first locally-transmitted case yesterday, a 57 year old retired man in the central city of Da Nang. This, after nearly 100 days without a single local case.
• Fast food outlets McDonald’s and Chipotle will soon require customers in the US to wear masks or other face coverings as cases of Covid-19 surge nationwide.
• Covid-19 hospitalisations in Florida have increased by 79% since July 4. Fifty hospitals in Florida have now reached full intensive care unit capacity and show no ICU beds available, according to AHCA data.
The latest stats from around the world show an acceleration of both new cases and deaths related to Covid-19.
In Thailand Centre for Covid-19 Situation Control announced 3 new imported cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 3,282 cases in Thailand since the outbreak began. All are Thai returnees from abroad, 1 from Sudan and 2 from the US. Thailand has now gone over 2 months without a locally transmitted case of the virus
According to the CCSA, a 23 year old woman who arrived from Sudan on July 10 was in a state quarantine facility in Chon Buri province. She tested positive on Tuesday but showed no symptoms. The other 2 cases are a 14 year old student and a 23 year old employee, who arrived from the US on July 11 and were sent to a state quarantine facility in Bangkok. When they underwent coronavirus tests on Thursday, the student had a sore throat while the other man showed no symptoms.
Fatalities remain unchanged in Thailand at 58. Of the infected patients, 3,109 have recovered, including 2 new cases discharged on Friday, or 94.7%. A total of 115 patients remain in hospital undergoing treatment.
Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.