Governments and businesses are ramping up precautions after the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases increased in various parts of the world.
Indonesia was expected to pass the 50,000 mark for confirmed infections on Thursday.
In Melbourne, health workers planned to go door to door to test more than 100,000 residents in a coronavirus hotspot that threatens to undo the nation’s success in battling the virus.
In the Indian capital of New Delhi, which has reported more than 70,000 cases, authorities said they would conduct house-to-house screening over the coming two weeks.
With the city’s hospitals overwhelmed, military personnel were providing care at makeshift medical wards fashioned from train carriages.
India reported a record high 16,922 cases on Thursday, taking the national total to 473,105, with nearly 15,000 deaths.
The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing.
World financial markets were rattled by the setbacks in fighting the pandemic, which cloud prospects for recoveries of economies mired in their worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Asian shares fell on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost over 700 points overnight for a drop of 2.7% and the broader S&P 500 fell 2.6%.
In China, where the virus first appeared late last year, an outbreak in Beijing appeared to have been brought under control.
China reported 19 newly confirmed cases nationwide amid mass testing in the capital. Case numbers both nationally and in Beijing were up by only single digits from Wednesday.
South Korea was still struggling to quell an outbreak there, reporting 28 new cases on Thursday, mostly associated with nightlife, churches, a huge e-commerce warehouse and door-to-door sales.
But the numbers have not reached the hundreds of new cases every day in late February and early March.
While some governments are considering more aggressive action to stem fresh outbreaks, in other places such precautions are being unwound.
Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, ended a months-long nightly curfew, with the city-state’s media office saying in a tweet that there would be “free move all day & night” as long as people wore masks and maintained social distancing.
European nations appeared set to reopen their shared borders by 1 July, and their EU representatives debated criteria for lifting restrictions on visitors from outside Europe.
Americans are unlikely to be allowed in, given how the pandemic is flaring in the US and President Donald Trump’s ban on Europeans entering the United States.
American hospital administrators and health experts warned on Wednesday that politicians and a public tired of being cooped up are letting a disaster unfold.
The 34,700 Covid-19 cases reported on Tuesday returned the US to near its late April peak of 36,400 new cases in one day, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut governor Ned Lamont announced their states, which were devastated by early outbreaks that appear to be under control, will require travellers from certain states to quarantine for 24 days upon arrival.
The quarantine applies to people coming from states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents on a seven-day average, or with a 10% or higher positive rate over seven days.
Several states have set single-day case records this week. They include Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Some also broke hospitalisation records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.
The virus has been blamed for over 120,000 US deaths — the highest toll in the world — and more than 2.3 million confirmed infections nationwide. On Wednesday, the widely cited University of Washington computer model of the outbreak projected nearly 180,000 deaths by 1 October.
“People got complacent,” said Dr Marc Boom, CEO of the Houston Methodist hospital system. “And it’s coming back and biting us, quite frankly.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?