COVID-19 Apocalypse : France may lose control over second wave, Poland reports biggest daily rise in new cases, Philippines reports 6,352 new cases


4th August 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 18,515,902 with 699,093 deaths as of 11.30pm today.


Coronavirus cases nearly doubled in the Netherlands over the past week, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said Tuesday. “2,588 new COVID-19 infections were reported in the Netherlands over the past week. That is 1,259 more confirmed cases reported than the week before that, when 1,329 new COVID-19 infections were reported,” it said in a statement. Fatalities have risen at a slower pace, rising to 6,169 Tuesday morning from 6,164 a week earlier, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.

Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools full-time without improving its test-and-trace system, according to a study published on Tuesday. Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine modelled the impact of reopening schools, combined with continuing to gradually ease social-distancing measures, under a range of scenarios. If schools reopened full-time, 75% of people with COVID-19 symptoms would need to be diagnosed and isolated and 68% of their contacts would need to be traced, according to their study published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal.

Poland has recorded 680 new COVID-19 cases, the largest increase since the beginning of the pandemic. As a result of the rising numbers, the government is considering whether to impose quarantine restrictions on travellers returning from certain countries. More than 30% of recorded cases (222) came from the Silesia region, known for its coal mines. 88 cases were recorded in the Malopolska region in southern Poland. At least 94 cases were confirmed in the Wielkopolska region in central Poland.

France’s top scientists have advised the country to be ready for another wave of COViD-19 as they predict “a resumption of the circulation of virus at a high level in the fall of 2020.” Paris wants to make the wearing of face masks mandatory in certain outdoor areas in order to prevent a new spike of coronavirus infections, French daily Le Monde reported. France could “at any moment” lose control over the spread of the coronavirus, the government’s COVID-19 scientific council warned Tuesday as official data showed the first rise in intensive care patients since April.

Germany is currently experiencing a second coronavirus wave, according to a physicians’ association in the country.”We are already in a second wave of rising infections,” Susanne Johna, head of the Marburger Bund, said in an interview with the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. 

Six times as many people as officially recorded could have been infected with the coronavirus in Italy, according to a study published by the government. The study, which was conducted by health authorities and the statistics bureau Istat, found that 1.5 million people, or 2.5 per cent, of Italy’s population could have developed coronavirus antibodies.

EasyJet is seeing a stronger-than-expected rebound in passenger demand following the lifting of lockdowns, prompting it to accelerate the addition of flights.

U.S. and Canada

US stocks opened lower on Tuesday, sliding following a strong performance on Monday that led to record closing high for the Nasdaq Composite.

President Trump said the United States’ staggering death toll from coronavirus “is what it is” in a new interview, again giving his administration credit for its response despite ongoing surges in new cases and a human toll that far outpaces that of any other nation.

Dr. Deborah Birx was bothered by President Trump’s tweet criticizing her after she offered what she believed was an accurate assessment of the current state of coronavirus outbreaks in the US, a person familiar with her reaction tells CNN.

When confronted with the US’ daily death toll and Trump’s messaging on the pandemic during an interview with Axios that aired Monday night, the President grew defensive and appeared frustrated by reporter Jonathan Swan’s questions about the crisis.

“I’ve gone to your rallies. I’ve talked to your people. They love you. They listen to you. They listen to every word you say. They hang on your every word,” Swan said. “And so when they hear you say, ‘everything’s under control. Don’t worry about wearing masks,’ I mean, these are people — many of them are older people.”

Kevin Hassett, a former senior adviser to President Trump and former chair of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said another lockdown order may be necessary in parts of the country.

New Jersey’s updated travel quarantine list includes the addition of Rhode Island and the removal of Washington, DC and Delaware – bringing the total to 35 states and territories, according to the governor’s office.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy cut the indoor-gathering limit by 75% on Monday, to 25 people, after a spate of house parties led to almost 100 cases. The state’s virus transmission rate, a key spread indicator, has jumped to the highest since early April.

California, with more than 516,000 positive cases, has reported the most infections in the nation, but is beginning the week on a positive note. The state reported a seven-day average of cases of about 7,764 Monday, which is down about 21% from the previous week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

At least 45 hospitals in Florida have reached ICU capacity and show zero ICU beds available, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). 

Central and Latin America

Twenty-two doctors have died of COVID-19 in the northwestern Venezuelan state of Zulia, Dr. Daniela Parra, the president of the Zulia College of Doctors, told CNN on Monday. 

China and Hong Kong

A World Health Organization (WHO) team in China to probe the origins of COVID-19 had “extensive discussions” and exchanges with scientists in Wuhan where the outbreak was first detected, a spokesman said on Tuesday. The talks included updates on animal health research, he said. China shut down a wildlife market in Wuhan at the start of the outbreak, a day after discovering some patients were vendors or dealers.

China aims to increase Hong Kong’s coronavirus testing capacity to 20 times its current ability, said the leader of a support team sent from Guangdong province to aid the city in its worst outbreak ever.

Hong Kong confirmed an additional 80 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, of which 75 are local infections.

Elsewhere in the world

Russia has reported 5,159 new cases of the coronavirus, pushing its national tally to 861,423, the fourth largest in the world.

Indian cabinet minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, is the latest Indian politician to test positive for COVID-19.

Japan’s Ministry of Health confirmed 937 new cases of COVID-19 and 4 deaths from Monday. The ministry announced the nationwide tally from Monday’s numbers on Tuesday, which takes the number of infections to 40,570. The total includes the number of cases detected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship —39,858 on land and 712 discovered on the Diamond Princess. 

Iran has recorded 212 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing Iran’s death toll to 17,617, Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari said Tuesday. There have been 2,751 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 314,786, Lari added.

India recorded 52,050 new COVID-19 infections and 803 deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours, the country’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday.

Australia’s forthcoming T20 cricket series against the West Indies has been postponed because of the spread of coronavirus, according to Cricket Australia’s verified Twitter account. Australia’s Victoria state said anyone flouting isolation rules will face an on-the-spot fine of as much as A$5,000, as it battles to control a spike in cases.

Moscow has begun to enforce its rules on wearing masks more vigorously amid an uptick of new coronavirus cases over the last three weeks.

Vietnam reported 17 new infections tied to the coastal city of Danang, bringing the country’s total cases to 670, according to the health ministry. Sixteen of the patients are in Danang while the other, a doctor, is in Dong Nai province, the ministry said.

The Philippines saw another record in new infections on Tuesday to take its total to 112,593 cases, approaching Indonesia which currently has the largest virus outbreak in Southeast Asia. The country reported 6,352 new infections to take the total just behind Indonesia’s 113,134 cases as of Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The capital Manila returned to a stricter lockdown on Tuesday after infections surged following an easing o restrictions last month.

Indonesia has recorded 1,922 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 115,056, official data by the country’s COVID-19 task force showed. Indonesia will have capacity to produce 250 million doses a year of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020 pending trials on humans, a minister said on Tuesday, as the country seeks to halt a wave of infections that has shown no sign of relent.