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COVID-19 lockdown leads to boom in demand for bicycles in Kampala, Uganda

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Mechanic Ibrahim Mukomazzi sits at a bicycle repair shop in Nakawa in Kampala, capital of Uganda, May 21, 2020. COVID-19 lockdown has led to a boom in demand for bicycles after the government put a ban on cars to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

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Libya reports 12 new COVID-19 cases, 168 in total

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The National Center for Disease Control of Libya on Monday reported 12 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the caseload in the country to 168, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.

In a statement late Monday, the center said it received a total of 658 suspected cases, 646 of whom tested negative and 12 positive.

All the new infections are in southern Libya, the center said.

The southern city of Sabha recorded nearly half of the total number of COVID-19 cases in the North African country in less than a week after the announcement of the first case in the city.

The UN-backed government in the capital Tripoli recently decided to ban the entry into and exit from Sabha and imposed a 24-hour curfew for seven days starting from May 28, in order to fight the pandemic.

The Libyan authorities have taken a series of protective measures against the virus, including closing the country’s borders, mosques and schools, banning public gatherings, and imposing curfews.

(XINHUA)

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Pakistani charity organization distributes food to people impacted by COVID-19

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Volunteers of a Pakistani charity organization arrange charity food boxes amid COVID-19 pandemic in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on June 1, 2020. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that people should learn living with COVID-19 by taking precautionary measure to avoid contracting it till its vaccine is made. (Xinhua/Ahmad Kamal)

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Romania further relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

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People walk past reopened terraces of restaurants in Bucharest, Romania, on June 1, 2020. Romania adopted new relaxation measures from June 1, including reopening open-air terraces of restaurants and beaches, lifting the travel restrictions for residents, as well as allowing outdoor shows and sports events. (Photo by Cristian Cristel/Xinhua)

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Vasco da Gama reports 16 positive COVID-19 cases

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Sixteen Vasco da Gama players have tested positive for the coronavirus amid ongoing debate about whether football should return in Brazil.

Vasco said the infected players were asymptomatic and are now isolated under medical supervision. The identities of the players were not disclosed.

“They will be given medical attention and will continue to undergo regular tests until we’re sure that they can no longer pass on the virus to others,” Vasco team doctor Marcos Teixeira said.

The results came after the Rio de Janeiro club tested around 350 people, including players, staff and their family members.

Vasco and cross-city rivals Flamengo have spearheaded efforts to restart football in Brazil, which has been suspended since mid-March.

Rio’s state government has allowed clubs to resume training under strict protocols and competition is expected to recommence in July.

However Botafogo and Fluminense – the other half of Rio’s so-called big four – have opposed the move, citing Brazil’s rising number of COVID-19 deaths.

Brazil has the second highest number of coronavirus infections worldwide behind the United States with more than 500,000 confirmed cases and almost 30,000 deaths.

(XINHUA)

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NCDC records 416 new cases of COVID-19, total infections hit 10,578

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday recorded 416 new cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,578.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NCDC on its official twitter handle said that 3,122 out of the  10,578 total infections have been discharged, with 299 losing their lives.

The agency said that 12 new patients were confirmed dead to the virus in the country on Monday.

It explained that most of the fatalities recorded from COVID-19 were cases with other underlying illnesses known as co-morbidities.

It stated that no new state had reported a case in the last 24 hours .

The the health agency’s data showed that Monday’s new cases were spread across 19 states and the FCT, with Lagos accounting for the highest number of infections for the day with 192 cases.

The 416 new cases are reported from 20 states – Lagos (192), Edo (41), Rivers (33), Kaduna (30), Kwara (23), Nasarawa (18), Borno (17), FCT (14), Oyo (10), Katsina (7), Abia (5), Delta (5), Adamawa (4), Kano (4), Imo (3), Ondo (3), Benue(2), Bauchi(2), Ogun (2), Niger (1).

The NCDC said that till date, 10578 cases have been confirmed, 7157 active cases, 3122 cases have been treated and discharged and 299 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.


Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Chile’s COVID-19 cases exceed 100,000, death toll hits 1,113

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Chile on Monday reported a total of 105,159 cases of novel coronavirus infection, and 1,113 deaths from the disease.

In the past 24 hours ending 9 p.m. local time Sunday, 5,471 new cases of infection were detected and 59 more patients died, the Health Ministry said.

Of the new cases, 5,082 showed symptoms and 389 were asymptomatic, while 44,946 people have recovered since the outbreak began.

As Chile’s outbreak continues to expand at a rapid pace, Health Minister Jaime Manalich said lockdown measures in effect in the capital Santiago and other parts of the country take time to curb the spread of the virus.

The results of social distancing “are not immediate.” “In general, they take between two and four or five weeks. It also depends on the response of the people to these measures,” said Manalich.

Lockdown measures for Santiago and the metropolitan area have been extended until June 5.

(XINHUA)

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United States COVID-19 cases top 1.8 mln: Johns Hopkins University

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The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 1.8 million on Monday, reaching 1,808,291 as of 6:33 p.m. (2233 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, the national death toll reached 105,003, according to the tally.

New York remains the hardest-hit state with 371,711 cases and 29,833 fatalities. Other states with over 100,000 cases include New Jersey, Illinois, California and Massachusetts, the tally showed.

(XINHUA)

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Poland scraps school reopening plan as COVID-19 cases top 24,000

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Polish students will not take traditional classes this school year, Education Minister Dariusz Piontkowski said on Monday.

Part of the schools will function as daycare centers until June 26 to relieve the burden of working parents. Online classes will be offered with a break during the exam period, Piontkowski added.

Schools have been closed since March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Poland. Kindergartens, preschools and lower grades of primary schools have been allowed to resume some activities.

Summer camps and similar activities are popular in the country, those activities are allowed to be carried out after approval, Piontkowski said. “This year we see a marked drop in the number of applications, which amounts to 25,000 in total, compared with last year’s over 1,2 million.”

While Poland has been gradually opening up its economy and social life, the number of confirmed cases has been consistently rising with 300 to 400 new cases per day. The Health Ministry confirmed on Monday a total of 24,165 cases, with the death toll standing at 1,074.

Silesia, a southern mining region, remains the main hotbed in Poland with close to 8,500 confirmed cases.

(XINHUA)

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Roundup: United States manufacturing activity contracts for third straight month amid COVID-19 fallout

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Economic activity in the United States manufacturing sector contracted for the third straight month in May amid mounting COVID-19 fallout, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported Monday.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index stood at 43.1 percent in May, up 1.6 percentage points from the April reading, which was the lowest level since April 2009.

Any reading below 50 percent indicates the manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

“Three months into the manufacturing disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, comments from the panel were cautious regarding the near-term outlook,” Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM‘s manufacturing business survey committee, said in a statement.

Noting that the pandemic impacted all manufacturing sectors, Fiore said “May appears to be a transition month, as many panelists and their suppliers returned to work late in the month.”

“However, demand remains uncertain, likely impacting inventories, customer inventories, employment, imports and backlog of orders,” he said.

Among the six biggest industry sectors, Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products remains the only industry in expansion, according to the report. Transportation Equipment, Petroleum & Coal Products, and Fabricated Metal Products continue to contract at “strong levels,” Fiore said.

Despite the continued contraction, Tim Quinlan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, wrote in an analysis that “a reading of 43.1 in May versus 41.5 in April tells us that the pace of decline is slowing.”

“After some of the worst months on record, this is a step in a better direction,” Quinlan said, while noting that “there are certainly challenges ahead.”

“Supply chain disruptions and implementation of new social-distancing protocols in factories and workshops not just in the United States, but around the world, likely mean that the recovery here will take longer than the quicker turnaround we expect to see in consumer spending,” he said.

A business executive from the Transportation Equipment industry also highlighted the new protocols, saying in the ISM report that social distancing measures in the manufacturing plant and customer demand are “impacting the rate of production.”

Despite the COVID-19 issues, we are seeing an increase of quoting activity. This has not turned into orders yet, but it is a positive sign,” a business executive from the Computer & Electronic Products industry said.

The United States Commerce Department reported on Thursday that economic activity in the first quarter contracted at an annual rate of 5 percent in a second estimate, 0.2 percentage point lower than the advance estimate.

That downwardly revised figure, however, still does not fully capture COVID-19‘s economic damage, and many analysts believe that the decline in the second quarter is expected to be much deeper.

United States Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently said the unemployment rate could peak around 20 percent or 25 percent, and the United States economy could shrink dramatically in the second quarter, at an annualized rate of more than 20 percent or 30 percent.

In a virtual discussion held by Princeton University on Friday, the central bank chief said he was concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 infections, which he believed would dampen consumer confidence and hurt economic recovery.

(XINHUA)

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