A member of the Australian Defence Force (left) takes a swab sample from a resident in Melbourne on June 27, 2020. (WILLIAM WEST / AFP)
SYDNEY / JAKARTA / JERUSALEM / RAMALLAH / ANKARA / SEOUL – Australia’s second most populous state said on Monday it was considering reimposing social distancing restrictions after the country reported its biggest one-day rise in new coronavirus infections in more than two months.
Victoria has recorded 75 more cases in the past 24 hours, health authorities announced, making it Australia’s biggest daily outbreak since April 11. The surge in cases in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, has been centered around suburbs in the city’s northern and western fringes. The state is hoping a new saliva test, which is less intrusive, will encourage more people to get tested – even though it is slightly less accurate.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday said the reopening of state borders will support jobs growth despite the fresh outbreak.
Morrison has called on states to continue easing restrictions, insisting the country’s economy can not remained idled. He ruled out a blanket extension of a A$60 billion (US$41.1 billion) wage subsidy scheme beyond its scheduled end in September.
Australia has so far reported around 7,700, including 104 deaths.
Mumbai police on Sunday urged people to restrict their outdoor travel for essential activities within a 2-km radius of their homes to curb the COVID-19 spread as the lockdown in the city was further extended beyond June 30.
India’s financial capital, with a population of 18.4 million, is the worst affected city in India with over 28,000 active cases and 4,284 deaths.
Earlier in the day, India’s western state of Maharashtra, which has Mumbai as its political capital, extended its three-month lockdown that was due to end on June 30.
Health workers arrive to administer a medical camp at a slum in Mumbai, India, June 28, 2020. (RAFIQ MAQBOOL / AP)
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has told his cabinet he is ready to reshuffle ministers or even disband government agencies that he feels have not done enough to fight the coronavirus outbreak, according to his office.
Widodo made the remarks in a cabinet meeting on June 18, the video of which was released by his office on Sunday. The president also complained to his ministers of slow government spending in the face of a dire global economic outlook.
New COVID-19 cases in Indonesia continued to rise even as the country eased movement restrictions and allowed some reopenings of businesses this month.
On Saturday the country reported its biggest daily rise in infections with 1,385 new cases, and reported another 1,198 on Sunday, taking the total to 54,010 so far. It has recorded 2,754 deaths, the highest in East Asia outside China.
Amid increasing infections and fatalities from COVID-19 after the partial lifting of the lockdown, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said that wearing face masks in public areas will become mandatory from next week.
“From July 5, wearing masks in all public areas will be compulsory for two weeks,” Rouhani said at a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus.
If necessary, the new decision will remain in force for the next month, he was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency.
Iran’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 222,669 on Sunday after an overnight registration of 2,489 new infections, IRNA reported.
The death toll rose by 144 to 10,508.
The number of coronavirus active cases in Israel has risen to 6,363, the highest since May 2, the state’s Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
The ministry also reported 334 new cases, bringing the overall tally to 23,755.
The death toll rose from 317 to 318 while the number of patients in serious condition fell from 41 to 39.
Palestine on Sunday announced that 195 new coronavirus cases were confirmed, raising the country’s tally to 2,248.
According to Health Minister Mai al-Kaila, 621 patients have recovered and seven have died.
Hebron, the hardest-hit district in the West Bank, has registered nearly 60 percent of all the cases, al-Kaila said, warning of hundreds of uncovered cases in the district. The Health Ministry said special measures will be taken in the district, including redirecting non-urgent medical cases and surgeries, suspending outpatient clinics at hospitals and dedicating them to handle the outbreak of the novel coronavirus patients in the area.
Singapore’s Ministry of Health reported 213 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 43,459.
Out of the new cases, 93 percent are linked to known clusters while the rest are pending contact tracing.
In all, 37,508 people have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals or community care facilities, the ministry said.
The country has reported 26 deaths from COVID-19 so far.
South Korea reported 42 more cases of the COVID-19 in the past 24 hours as of 0:00 am Monday local time, raising the total number of infections to 12,757.
No additional deaths were confirmed in the same period, leaving the death toll at 282.
Turkey’s confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 1,356 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 197,239, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Sunday.
Koca tweeted that 15 more people have died, raising the death toll to 5,097.
The health minister said that the number of recoveries rose by 1,413 to 170,595.