Singapore, which has the highest number of Covid cases in Southeast Asia, is separately dealing with an outbreak of dengue in the city.
• Virus Tracker: Cases pass 7.6 million; deaths exceed 425,000
• Covid-19’s renewed assault on America is underway
• How a “second wave” sparks renewed pandemic fears
• Korea crushed a huge virus outbreak. Can it beat a new wave?
• Johnson & Johnson is speeding up its vaccine timetable
• England, a Nation of Shopkeepers, Gets Ready to Open Its Doors
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Beijing Shuts Some Markets (2:3 p.m. HK)
Beijing shut down the capital’s largest wholesale vegetable market – Xinfadi market – from 3 a.m. Saturday to curb the spread of Covid-19 after the virus was detected among a few business owners and their equipment. Swabs taken from the throats of 45 people at the market tested positive, and they had no clinical symptoms, the Beijing city government said in a statement Saturday.
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More Filipinos Going Hungry (2:29 p.m. HK)
The number of Filipinos going hungry has doubled in the past six months and more than 90% of its residents are experiencing stress as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released Friday.
About 4.2 million people can’t afford to eat, soaring from December. As many as 91% of Filipinos aged 15 or older are feeling anxious, according to a Social Weather Stations poll conducted May 4 to 10.
England Gets Ready to Open Shops (2:01 p.m. HK)
Stores on Oxford Street, London’s most famous shopping thoroughfare, will open Monday for the first time since March. After locking down to slow the spread of the coronavirus, retailers in the capital and across England are desperate to get back to business. They’re rushing to install sneeze screens, “sanitation stations,” and distancing measures to make shopping safer once they open their doors.
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Thailand Has Five More Cases (12:53 p.m. HK)
Thailand reported five more coronavirus cases Saturday, taking the total in the country to 3,134. So far, 58 people have died in the country, none overnight, the government said in a statement. All the five people who reported positive came back from Saudi Arabia and have been quarantined, the government said.
Hong Kong Airport Numbers Drop (11:37 a.m. HK)
Hong Kong airport’s passenger volume slumped 99% last month from a year earlier while cargo throughput dropped 6.8%, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said on its website. Freighter movements increased 29%, it said. Cargo exports experienced an 11% year-on-year increase in May, with North America showing the strongest growth. The overall decline in cargo throughput was mainly attributed to the decrease in transshipments and imports due to the reduced belly capacity of passenger flights. Traffic to and from key trading regions in Southeast Asia and India experienced the most significant drops.
Steel Authority Employees Test Positive (11:24 a.m. HK)
About 40 employees of state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd., including its chairman and some executive directors, working out of its New Delhi office, have tested positive for Covid-19. Barring two, who are to be hospitalized, all others are asymptomatic and are in home quarantine, the Financial Express newspaper reported, citing a company employee it didn’t identify.
Ukraine President’s Wife Tests Positive (10:04 a.m. HK)
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s wife Olena tested positive and is in isolation, according to his press office. Zelenskiy and their children tested negative.
Singapore Dengue Cases (9:20 a.m. HK)
Singapore dengue infections may top 1,000 this week, setting a record, the Straits Times newspaper reported.
Cases for the year may exceed the all-time high of 22,170 set in 2013, the paper said, citing Amy Khor, the senior minister of state for the environment and water resources, and for health. Khor said the threat of dengue must be taken as seriously as Covid-19.
South Korea Second Wave (7:42 a.m. HK)
South Korea became one of the world’s leading virus success stories by learning from past experiences. Now it’s using lessons from a fresh spate of clusters to prepare for what officials say will be an inevitable second wave. South Korea launched a massive, technology-reliant testing and tracing campaign, a by-product of lessons learned from its bitter experience with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015.
France to Allow Some Visitors Monday (7 a.m. HK)
France is reopening its borders to visitors from the European zone known as Schengen, starting Monday, lifting restrictions in place since March. The government statement mentions some exceptions with countries like Spain and the U.K. that have restrictions still in place. Starting July 1, France will gradually reopen to other countries.
Cases Found Among Border Wall Workers (6:50 a.m. HK)
Health officials in southern Arizona found at least two infections among workers on the U.S.-Mexico border wall, the New York Times reported, igniting fears that the influx of hundreds of construction workers could spread the virus in small border towns.
The cases were confirmed at a health clinic in Ajo, a town near the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument where a portion of the wall is under construction, Chuck Huckelberry, the administrator of Pima County, which also includes the city of Tucson, told the Times.
Brazil Passes U.K. in Deaths (5:17 p.m. NY)
Brazil surpassed the U.K. on Friday in the number of Covid-19 deaths, becoming the second deadliest epicenter in the world after the U.S. Data from the states showed 909 new deaths, bringing the total count to 41,828. The U.K. tally is 41,566. The number of infections rose by 25,982.
Latin America’s largest nation and economy trails only the U.S. in number of cases. The University of Washington’s Institution for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which the Trump administration has relied on, projects Brazil will overtake the U.S. in per-capita deaths by mid-July.
A new study suggests infections in Brazil may be far more widespread than official data suggest. Researchers at the University of Pelotas in southern Brazil estimate six unreported cases for every one confirmed diagnosis across 120 cities studied The conclusion is based on tests and interviews with more than 31,000 people conducted June 4-7.
Dominican Opposition Angry at Lockdown (4:50 p.m. NY)
The Dominican Republic extended its pandemic state of emergency by 17 days, as lawmakers brushed aside opposition complaints they are at a disadvantage in the July 5 presidential election. Candidates will have less than a week to hold rallies, banned by the emergency, ahead of the vote.
The government says the measures are necessary to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country, which is the Caribbean epicenter with 21,437 cases and 561 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization.
U.S. Cases Rose 1%, in Line with Average (4 p.m. NY)
U.S. cases increased by 20,574 from the same time Thursday to 2.03 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1% increase was lower than the average daily increase of 1.1% the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.6% to 114,126.
• Florida cases rose 2.8% to 70,971, the biggest daily jump since May 1. Deaths reached 2,877, an increase of 1%.
• New York cases increased by 822 to 381,714, according to the state’s health department. Deaths reached 24,495.
• California cases rose 1.9% to 141,983, compared with the average 2.2% in the past seven days, according to the state’s website. Deaths rose 1.3% to 4,943
CDC Hints at New Lockdowns (3:50 p.m. NY)
States and cities might have to resume lockdowns if cases surge dramatically, top officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at their first press briefing in months.
The officials offered little in the way of explanation for why cases are increasing in some regions, releasing little new data on what’s driving up cases in states such as Arizona, Texas and Oregon.
The CDC also advised anyone at large gatherings to wear masks, keep six feet apart and wash hands, but officials wouldn’t be drawn in by questions about whether political events should take place. President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Oklahoma next week. Masks “are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice,” the CDC guidance said. The agency also recommended limiting attendance to allow for distancing.
Separately, the CDC said that forecasts suggest the U.S. death toll could top 124,000 or be as high as 140,000 by July 4.
More Than 20% in NYC Know a Covid Victim (3:30 p.m. NY)
More than 4 in 10 New Yorkers know someone who tested positive for Covid-19, and 23.1% know someone who died from the disease.
That’s according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and may help explain regional differences in perceptions about the coronavirus and efforts to reopen local and state economies.
Among respondents in Los Angeles, about 10% know someone with the infection, and 7.3% know someone who died. Across the U.S., the results were 16.8% and about 6%. Overall, 79.5% of U.S. respondents backed stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures. In the city, the percentage was 86.7%.
WHO Says Outbreak Is Just Starting (1:20 p.m. NY)
“The virus is actually starting and will wreak more havoc,” said World Health Organization head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Most countries are in the throes of the first wave, and the risk of a second wave is present for any country exiting lockdowns, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program.
Ryan said he’s concerned by the “upswing” in the Southern Hemisphere, and Tedros said the pandemic is accelerating in low- and middle-income countries. It’s most active in the Americas, and governments need to give clear and consistent messaging about it, Tedros said. Ryan said there’s no guarantee any vaccine will arrive in time.
“We have never seen something like this since 1918,” Tedros said, adding that Europe could see a resurgence of cases even as numbers have been dropping recently. “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
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