Connect with us

World News

More US states step back from reopening as COVID-19 cases surge | Coronavirus pandemic News

Published

on

More US states and businesses have rolled back plans to reopen their economies, citing surges in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations, as the government’s top infectious disease specialist blamed the spikes on Americans ignoring public health guidelines.

California and Texas both marked record spikes in new COVID-19 infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as the US’s second largest city of Los Angeles reported an “alarming” one-day surge in infections. 

Los Angeles has become a new epicenter in the pandemic as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge there despite California Governor Gavin Newsom’s strict orders requiring bars to close and residents to wear masks in nearly all public spaces.

US Miami

People out and about on Ocean Drive in Miami, Florida. The US has recorded a quarter of the world’s more than 500,000 deaths from the coronavirus [Chandan Khanna/AFP]

“The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement announcing the sharp rise.

“Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death,” Ferrer said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a “hard pause” on when movie theaters, theme parks and other entertainment venues can reopen. Los Angeles County is the biggest movie theater market in the United States.

The county also said its beaches will be closed for the Independence Day weekend and fireworks displays will be banned. Statewide positive tests for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus, rose by at least 7,418 in California on Monday to nearly 223,000, the biggest one-day increase since tracking began. Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, has recorded 100,000 cases.

COVID-19 infections in Texas rose by 6,545 on Monday to nearly 160,000, also setting a record for a one-day increase.

On Friday, Texas ordered the closure of all its recently reopened bars, but that prompted a backlash with a group of bar owners launching a lawsuit to overturn Republican Governor Greg Abbott’s order closing their businesses.




36 US states see rise in coronavirus cases (1:42)

They contend Abbott does not have the authority, and they complained that other businesses, such as nail salons and tattoo studios, remain open. “Governor Abbott continues to act like a king,” said Jared Woodfill, attorney for the bar owners. “Abbott is unilaterally destroying our economy and trampling on our constitutional rights.”

In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey shut down bars, movie theatres, gyms and water parks with immediate effect. The shutdown is to last for 30 days. Ducey also ordered public schools to delay the start of classes until at least August 17. Most Arizona bars and nightclubs had opened after the governor’s stay-at-home and business closure orders were allowed to expire in mid-May.

Arizona health officials reported 3,858 more confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, the most reported in a single day in the state so far and the seventh time in the past 10 days that daily cases surpassed the 3,000 mark. 

“Our expectation is that our numbers next week will be worse,” Ducey said on Monday.

Since the pandemic began, 74,500 cases and 1,588 deaths stemming from the virus have been reported in Arizona.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will not resume on Thursday as planned and would be postponed indefinitely. In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly imposed a statewide mandate requiring the wearing of masks in public spaces, which she said was necessary to avoid another shutdown.

AMC, the largest US movie theatre chain, on Monday said it was pushing back the opening of its theatres to July 30 from July 15.

In June, 22 US states reported record increases in new cases, often multiple times, including Alaska, Arkansas, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Utah.

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Tulsa

US Vice president Mike Pence arriving at a campaign rally at the BOK Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma [McNamee/Getty Images/AFP]

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN the public’s flouting of guidelines such as social distancing, mask-wearing and avoiding large crowds was responsible for the uptick in cases. 

“There are crowds. They are not physical distancing, and they are not wearing masks. That’s a recipe for disaster,” Fauci said in the interview broadcast on Monday.

“Now, we’re seeing the consequences of community spread, which is even more difficult to contain than spread in a well-known physical location like a prison or nursing home or meatpacking place,” he added. 

Face coverings have become a political issue, with some civil rights activists and supporters of US President Donald Trump arguing that such mandates are unconstitutional.

But White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Monday that Trump “has no problem with masks and to do whatever your local jurisdiction requests”.

US Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday pressed Americans to adopt face masks during a trip to Texas and wore one himself, a sharp turnaround for the administration. Other Republican politicians in hard-hit states also are now calling for masks.

The city of Jacksonville, Florida, venue for part of the Republican nominating convention in August, said on Twitter that it would require masks for all public locations starting later on Monday.

The US accounts for about a quarter of all reported coronavirus cases and related deaths worldwide, which surpassed 10 million and 500,000, respectively, over the weekend.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday blamed Trump for the new surge in cases, saying the president’s focus on reopening the economy had backfired. Cuomo has himself come under criticism for his handling of the virus in New York, which has recorded more than double the number of deaths than any other US state.

The governor conceded in an interview on NBC News on Sunday that he had taken “political heat” for his decision to put recovering patients in nursing homes but denied that it put more elderly people at risk.

Source link

Continue Reading
Comments

World News

Trapped China miners ask for rice porridge, sausages | China News

Published

on

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday as they race against time to extract the 22 workers.

Workers trapped in a Chinese gold mine for more than nine days have received more medical and food supplies, including bandages, blankets and rice porridge, but one of the group is in a critical condition with a severe head injury, state media said.

A total of 22 workers were left trapped in the Hushan mine, in Shandong province, after an explosion on January 10.

A week later, it emerged that at least 12 of them were still alive as a note retrieved from the mine said: “We hope the rescue won’t stop.”

A drilled channel on Sunday located 11 of the miners, who were working more than 600 metres (1,968 feet) underground and rescuers were subsequently able to speak to them via a wired telephone.

But the progress of the rescue has been slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday in an effort to extract the trapped miners [Stringer/AFP]

“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite … that is very hard, resulting in the slow progress of the rescue,” Chen told reporters.

“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may pose a danger to the trapped workers.”

Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.

‘Please speed up the rescue’

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official Weibo account, a Chinese version of Twitter.

More than 300 people are involved in the rescue effort and excavators and machinery are on site but the teams have warned it will be extremely difficult to bring out the miners from the tunnel’s entrance.

The official Xinhua news agency said the miners had requested on Monday evening sausage and pickles as well as porridge but medical experts decided they should not eat hard food having only just regained their strength.

Fortified by the food and medical supplies – the fourth consignment to reach the group – two workers who had previously been very weak were able to walk again on Tuesday, Xinhua reported, citing a member of the rescue team.

However, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily said one worker was in a coma and in a critical condition, after sustaining a head injury in the blast, while two were “mildly unwell” and eight in good health.

One more worker has been located in another section of the mine, while the whereabouts of the other 10 remain unknown.

News that some of the miners are still alive has boosted Chinese netizens’ hopes for a miraculous escape, with thousands leaving prayer messages on Weibo and calling on the authorities to “please speed up the rescue”.

China’s National Mine Safety Administration has ordered a comprehensive inspection of the country’s non-coal mines, which will continue until the end of March, the People’s Daily reported.

There are 32,000 non-coal mines in China, most of which are small, use outdated technology and equipment and have poor safety management, it said, citing an administration official.



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Top Stories