Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on Saturday

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The latest:

  • Beijing’s Fengtai district locks down 11 neighbourhoods after outbreak.
  • India reports another single-day high for new COVID-19 cases.
  • Pandemic has infected more than 7.66 million people worldwide and killed more than 420,000.
  • Queen’s birthday marked with smaller ceremony due to pandemic.
  • Canadians can still travel to the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic — just not by car.
  • Pandemic accelerating in Africa, test kits needed, WHO says.
  • Arizona, Texas see more COVID-19 hospitalizations in shifting of U.S. hot spots.
  • U.S. layoffs continue as another 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  • University of Houston suspends workouts after 6 athletes test positive.

A Beijing district put itself on a “wartime” footing and the capital banned tourism and sports events on Saturday after a cluster of novel coronavirus infections centered around a major wholesale market sparked fears of a new wave of COVID-19.

Forty-five people out of 517 tested with throat swabs at the Xinfadi market in the city’s southwestern Fengtai district had tested positive for the coronavirus, Chu Junwei, a district official, told a briefing.

None were showing symptoms of COVID-19, he said, but added that 11 neighbourhoods in the vicinity of the market, which claims to be the largest agricultural wholesale market in Asia, had been locked down with 24-hour guards put in place.

People carry goods out of the Jingshen seafood market in Beijing on Saturday. The market was closed for disinfection and investigation on Friday after it was found that a newly identified coronavirus patient had visited it. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

The district is in a “wartime emergency mode,” Chu said.

The closure of the market and new restrictions come as concerns grow about a second wave of the pandemic, which has infected more than 7.66 million people worldwide and killed more than 420,000.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

WATCH | How Australia’s long-term care system avoided COVID-19 crisis:

Why Australia’s long-term care homes saw almost no COVID-19-related deaths. 10:17

In India, more than 11,000 new coronavirus infections were reported on Saturday, another single-day high for the country, as it passed the grim milestone of 300,000 cases.

The country’s health ministry reported 11,458 new cases, driving the toll to 308,993, the fourth-highest in the world. It also reported 386 deaths, raising the number of fatalities to 8,884.

India’s caseload has jumped by about 100,000 in a week, coinciding with the reopening of shopping malls, houses of worship and restaurants. The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown in late March.

WATCH | WHO pushes for equal access to any COVID-19 vaccine:

The World Health Organization is urging more countries to make a political commitment so that any emerging vaccine for COVID-19 will be shared equitably. 2:43

South Korea reported 49 new cases of the respiratory illness on Saturday, most of them in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

The country has confirmed a total of 12,051 cases and 277 deaths. The head of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pleaded with residents to stay home over the weekend, saying there was “high concern” that increased public activity would lead to a massive circulation of the virus.

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park has reopened after more than four months amid virus fears.

Measures to guard against COVID-19 include limiting the amusement park’s capacity to 9,000 guests per day for the first two weeks. The park requests all guests to wear a mask and undergo temperature checks before entering. Hand sanitizers are also being distributed.

A woman in a face mask walks past an advertisement for a fashion brand promoted by footballer Raheem Sterling in a department store on Oxford Street in London on Friday. (Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The animal and nature-themed attraction combines pandas, penguins, roller coasters and other rides and has been a Hong Kong icon since 1977.

In the U.K., for only the second time in 68 years, there will be no Trooping the Colour parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday due to coronavirus lockdown rules.

Windsor Castle was to host a smaller ceremony Saturday with Welsh Guardsmen and military musicians. The parade was last cancelled in 1955 due to a rail strike.

Marine personnel left stranded

The UN secretary-general says COVID-19 travel restrictions have left hundreds of thousands of the world’s 2 million seafarers stranded at sea for months, and is calling on countries to designate them and other marine personnel as key workers.

Antonio Guterres also called on nations to ensure that crews can leave vessels and be replaced safely, according to a statement Friday from UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.

WATCH | Dr. Anthony Fauci on the U.S.’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic:

The UN chief said the maximum time for seafarers to spend at sea under international conventions is being ignored, with some marooned on vessels for 15 months.

In Central America, the spread of the virus is encroaching on Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei. He says 58 employees in the presidential offices have tested positive for the virus, up from 18 last weekend.

On Friday, Guatemala reported more than 8,600 infections and 351 deaths.


What’s happening with COVID-19 in Canada

As of Friday night, there were 97,943 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in Canada, with 58,523 cases considered recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial data, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,104.

WATCH | Infectious disease specialist answers questions about key issues around COVID-19:

Dr. Isaac Bogoch says Ontario’s partial reopening is a positive move and believes the benefits of allowing visitors back into long-term care homes now ‘significantly outweigh the risks. 7:11

 

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