Coronavirus updates: WHO warns global cases could reach 10 million next week


AP Photo/Frank Augstein

The latest developments:

World Health Organization warns COVID-19 cases could reach 10 million next week.

US, Russia, Brazil on draft list of countries banned from travelling to bloc from 1 July: EU source

UK health leaders warn of ‘real risk’ of second wave of COVID-19 infections with local flare-ups likely

Scientists repeat warnings as Johnson announces England lockdown easing plan from July 4

Top US expert warns of ‘disturbing surge’ in coronavirus infections in some American states

Trump uses racist language as he again downplays seriousness of pandemic

Bulgaria’s PM fined for breaking his own government’s rules by not wearing mask

Germany and Portugal reimpose local lockdowns amid spike in infections

Djokovic ‘sorry’ as tennis champion and wife test positive for COVID-19


Swissport to cut more than 4,000 jobs due to coronavirus crisis 

Aviation services company Swissport said it could cut 4,556 jobs in the UK and Ireland, as it becomes the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the airline industry. 

Swissport Western Europe, which operates at London airports Heathrow and Gatwick, said in a statement that it had to reduce its staff size to survive the crisis. 

The company, which hires more than 64,000 people globally, told Euronews it was inevitable staff in Europe will also be made redundant —but did not say how many jobs were at risk. 


First vaccinations begin in Africa for COVID-19 trial

The first COVID-19 vaccine trial has started in Africa. A vaccine developed at the University of Oxford is being tested in South Africa, Britain and Brazil.

South Africa has nearly one-third of Africa’s confirmed cases with more than 106,000, including more than 2,100 deaths. 


WHO expects coronavirus cases to reach 10 million next week

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says he expects COVID-19 cases will reach 10 million globally in the next week. 

Tedros said the rate of new infections is accelerating:

In the first month of this outbreak, less than 10,000 cases were reported to WHO. In the last month, almost 4 million cases have been reported. We expect to reach a total of 10 million cases within the next week.


Europeans ‘re-assessing’ view on global order due to COVID-19, report

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead Europeans to radically reassess their view of the global order with a majority now keen on more EU-wide cooperation to face global challenges, new research has found.

Drawing on data from nine EU member states — which together comprise two-thirds of the bloc’s population — research from the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) found that 63 per cent of Europeans are in favour of more EU cooperation to tackle the pandemic and other issues of global significance.

Read the full report here. 


IMF says global growth ‘worst since WWII’

The International Monetary Fund has sharply lowered its forecast for global growth this year because it envisions far more severe economic damage from the coronavirus than it did just two months ago.

The IMF predicts that the global economy will shrink 4.9% this year, significantly worse than the 3% drop it had estimated in its previous report in April. It would be the worst annual contraction since immediately after World War II.


Belgium to re-open swimming pools, theatres

Theatres, cinemas and swimming pools in Belgium can reopen next month, the latest easing of the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Speaking after a meeting of the national security council, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said: “there are fewer and fewer rules, but they have to be followed.”

With a population of some 11 million inhabitants, Belgium has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 60,000 confirmed cases and 9,722 deaths.


Italy care home negligence probe: 18 bodies ordered to be exhumed 

Prosecutors in Italy have ordered that the bodies of 18 elderly people be exhumed amid a probe into a care home’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move is linked to an investigation into suspected COVID-19 deaths in Montecchio Emilia, among the worst-hit towns in the northern province of Reggio Emilia.
The bodies have been ordered to be exhumed so autopsies can be performed
Investigators want to establish whether these deaths were the result of any negligence. They suspect that the coronavirus outbreak in the care home may have started when an elderly person was taken there after being infected in hospital.



Starmer challenges Johnson over track-and-trace

UK opposition Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer challenged Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions over the government’s test and trace system.

He said the lockdown easing plan would only work if the system was effective, but said latest figures suggested two-thirds of people with COVID-19 were not being reached and asked to provide contact details. “There’s a big problem isn’t there?” he asked.

The prime minister said Starmer must have been “stunned by the success of the test-and-trace operation” which he insisted was working well. He said 87,000 people had been contacted.


Scotland lockdown easing details announced

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given details of how lockdown measures will be eased in July.

People will be allowed to meet up with two other households indoors from July 10, and pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen from July 15. Beer gardens and outdoor restaurants can reopen from July 6. A 5-mile travel limit will be lifted from July 6.

She said the pace of progress was “slightly slower” than in England, which has a separate lockdown easing plan announced by Boris Johnson.


28 migrants rescued in Mediterranean test positive for COVID-19: Governor

Sicily governor Nello Musumeci said on Wednesday that 28 migrants rescued at sea have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.The migrants are currently being held on a ship in Porto Empedocle.Musumeci said the cases show he was right to call on the Italian government to impose special at-sea quarantine measures for migrants.


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