Covid-19 wrap: Latin America leads global infections, Italian region imposes fine for not wearing masks

Coronavirus cases in Latin America for the first time have surpassed the combined infections in the United States and Canada, a Reuters tally shows, amid a surge of infections in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

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The quickly growing number of cases make Latin America the region most impacted by the pandemic globally, with 26.83% of worldwide cases.

Latin America now has 4 327 160 total cases of the novel coronavirus compared to 4 308 495 infections in United States and Canada, according to the count based on data provided by the governments of each country.

The United States continues to be the individual country with the highest number of infections and deaths from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, with more than 4.2 million cases and roughly 146 000 deaths, followed by Brazil, with 2.4 million cases and nearly 87 000 dead.

Italian region reimposes 1 000 euro fine for not wearing mask

Three businesses in the southern Italian city of Salerno are the first to fall foul of tough new anti-coronavirus regulations imposed by the region of Campania, local media reported Sunday, AFP reports. 

The three businesses, which include a bar and a hairdresser, were hit with 1 000-euro fines after police found they had not respected an edict imposed on Friday that requires people to wear masks in enclosed spaces.

„If our fellow citizens think that the problem is resolved, that means that within a few weeks we will return to a grave emergency,“ Vincenzo De Luca, the president of Campania, which includes Naples, posted on Facebook on Friday.

„We knew that there would be an increase in contamination, it was widely expected,“ he said, a few hours before the publication of an order toughening the rules to fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

The key measure of the text is a fine of 1 000 euros for anyone who does not wear a mask in an enclosed space, whether in public buildings, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, shops or on public transport.

According to the new regulations, „transport operators are required to deny access to passengers who do not wear the mask“.

Italy was the first country in Europe to be affected by coronavirus. More than 35 000 people have died and there have been over 242 000 cases of contamination.

Vietnam reimposes distancing, suspends football as cases surge 

Reuters reports that Vietnam reintroduced social distancing measures in the central city of Danang on Sunday after the country reported four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the past two days, the first in more than three months.

The Southeast Asian country was back on high alert after the government on Saturday confirmed its first community infection since April, and another case early on Sunday, both in the tourism hot spot of Danang.

The two new cases included a 17-year-old boy in Quang Ngai province and a 71-year-old woman in Danang, the government said late on Sunday, bringing the total number of reported cases in the country to 420.

Authorities gave no further detail on how the new infections were contracted nor whether they were believed to be linked.

The city’s social distancing measures would come into force until further notice, the government said on its website.

Danang will stop receiving inbound tourists for 14 days and all religious, sports and cultural events will be suspended.

Wearing masks in public places in the city is now compulsory and gatherings of more than 30 people at public places are banned, the government said.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Vietnam suspended its domestic football leagues Sunday until further notice following news of the first locally transmitted case of coronavirus in nearly 100 days.

After more than three months with no local cases, a 57-year-old retired Vietnamese man in the central city of Danang tested positive for the virus.

Following the discovery, authorities announced Sunday that they have found three more infections connected to the Danang case.

In response, the Vietnam Professional Football (VPF) announced all domestic football leagues have been suspended.

The country’s top Vleague and the First Division were supposed to play new rounds starting 29 July.

Taiwan resumes ocean cruise 

Reuters reports that Taiwan resumed an island-hoping ocean cruise on Sunday, joining a handful of places in the world to restart voyages after the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a virtual standstill.

Some 900 holiday makers are adapting to new safety measures when boarding Genting Hong Kong’s Explorer Dream embarking from Taiwan’s northern Keelung port. The company now offers trips of up to five days from Taiwan to its scenic outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

The cruise resumption is part of a government effort to boost a tourism industry badly hit by the pandemic. Taiwan has largely closed its borders since mid-March and advised citizens against overseas travel unless absolutely necessary.

James Sun, sales manager of the cruise line, said a sea voyage could satisfy the desire for travel of people who are not permitted to go abroad.

The ship is carrying just a third of its maximum passenger limit, and is equipped with 22 Covid-19 wards to isolate passengers if any fall ill.

The 500-strong crew underwent a 21-day health screening before coming on board. All front-line service staff are required to wear masks and gloves. Buffet service has been dropped, the onboard casino and spa are shut, and dining tables are set apart and divided by screens.

Passengers must keep social distance and have their temperatures checked before coming onboard.

Hurricane batters Covid-19-hit part of Texas, US

Reuters reports that Hurricane Hanna battered the south Texas coast with blistering winds and crashing waves into the early hours of Sunday, leaving a large area already badly hit by Covid-19 bracing for torrential downpours and potential flash floods.

Hanna came ashore on Padre Island on Saturday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, and later made a second landfall in Eastern Kennedy County, Texas.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said during a Saturday briefing that the storm was especially challenging as it was sweeping through an area of the state that has been the worst hit by the coronavirus.

Source: News24

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