Coronavirus Global Updates, 25 August: South Korea closes schools, again; Spain imposes ban on social gatherings

Coronavirus Global Updates, 25 August: South Korea closes schools, again; Spain imposes ban on social gatherings

Coronavirus Global Updates: Over 23.65 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in more than 210 countries across the world, according to a Reuters tally. Nearly 811,895 people have succumbed to the disease. Over 15 million people have recovered from the infection.

Here are the top developments from across the world:

We have to make this ‘Chinese Virus’ go away: Donald Trump

Americans have to “make this China virus go away” and it is happening, US president Donald Trump said, as he thanked the frontline workers for their incredible efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.

Trump appeared in a taped Oval Office conversation with a group of frontline workers – doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, postal workers.

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However, this was not the first time Trump called the novel coronavirus as China’s virus. In March, he had said that China is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus and called it the “Chinese Virus”. He later insisted the term was accurate because the virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The United States has reported over 5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 170,000 deaths so far.

South Korea closes schools again amid spike in cases

South Korea is closing schools and switching back to remote learning in the greater capital area as the country reported triple-digit daily increase in coronavirus cases for the 12th straight day, the Associated Press reported.

Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said Tuesday that at least 193 students and teachers were found infected with the virus over the past two weeks in the Seoul metropolitan region, where a viral surge has threatened to erase the country’s hard-won epidemiological gains.

Yoo said most children at kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools will receive online classes at least until September 11. High school seniors will continue to go to school so their studies are not disrupted ahead of the crucial national college exams.

South Korea’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported 280 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the 12-day total to 3,175. The country now has 17,945 confirmed cases so far, including 310 deaths.

South Korea has since Sunday banned large gatherings, shut down nightspots and churches and removed fans from professional sports nationwide. Officials say the country could be forced to elevate social distancing restrictions if the virus doesn’t slow later this week.

Coronavirus Global Updates, 25 August: South Korea closes schools again amid spike in cases; Spain imposes ban on social gatherings A worker disinfects as a precaution against the coronavirus on a street in Goyang, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (AP Photo)

Virus tests for students returning to Beijing universities

Beijing universities are preparing to administer virus tests to students returning to the city’s campuses, the Associated Press reported.

The cost of testing all 600,000 students will be born by the universities themselves, according to the Beijing Municipal Education Commission.

University classes are scheduled to begin Sept 9. Approximately 75 per cent of Chinese students in lower grades returned to class by last month, many on staggered schedules. The rest are expected to return by this week or on Sept 1.

China’s National Health Commission on Tuesday reported no local infections for the ninth straight day and said 14 new cases have been detected in travelers arriving from abroad.

Coronavirus Global Updates, 25 August: South Korea closes schools again amid spike in cases; Spain imposes ban on social gatherings Workers take delivery of supplies in Beijing on Aug. 20, 2020. (AP Photo)

New school year begins in Mexico

The Mexican government Monday attempted to start a new school year despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, as millions of school children returned to classes but not schools, reported the Associated Press.

The government enlisted the country’s largest private television companies to dedicate channels to school programming around the clock. Education officials developed schedules giving students at various levels multiple opportunities to watch their classes.

Education Secretary Esteban Moctezuma said officials decided to rely on television because it has a far greater penetration than the internet.

Coronavirus Global Updates, 25 August: South Korea closes schools again amid spike in cases; Spain imposes ban on social gatherings Denisse Leal dispenses alcohol gel to a commuter as she and her husband Mario Diaz ride a subway car in Santiago, Chile, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020. (AP Photo)

Spain imposes new restrictions to curb virus spread

Some Spanish regions Monday moved to impose new measures such as bans on large social gatherings in order to curb the spread of the pandemic, fearing an even sharper surge in coronavirus infections with the opening of the school year in September, the Associated Press reported.

On Monday, when Spain’s Ministry of Health reported figures for the previous three days, the country added over 19,000 cases to its tally of more than 4,00,000 since the beginning of the epidemic. The figure is the highest in Europe.

Dr Fernando Simon, the epidemiology expert in charge of Spain’s coronavirus response, admitted that contagion with no clear source of infection was now widespread in the country.

“There is a certain level of community transmission in Spain, but in some regions is more than in others. The return to school os an opportunity for easier transmission of the virus,” he said at a press conference.

The Health Ministry saud that 2,060 of the new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, with 34 new deaths, pushing the total death toll to 28,838.

The Catalonia region Monday announced it was extending a ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people to the region’s 7.6 million inhabitants while Murcia, in the country’s southern coast with 1.5 million residents, restricted gatherings to a maximum of six people.

Coronavirus restrictions further eased in New York

Coronavirus restrictions were cautiously eased in New York on Monday, allowing museums across New York and gyms in some parts of the state outside of New York City to reopen, the Associated Press reported.

Museums will face restrictions including timed ticketing and 25 per cent occupancy, according to guidelines announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

NYC museums that will open over the next few weeks include the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Aug. 29 and the American Museum of Natural History on September 9.

While Cuomo said gyms and fitness centers could open at 33 per cent capacity from Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s gyms would stay closed until at least September 2.

State health officials have reported an infection rate below 1 per cent every day for over than two weeks.

 

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