The latest on the global pandemic
Mexico, having hit over half a million official coronavirus cases and 55,000 deaths as the pandemic rages across Latin America, will help produce a vaccine that could be distributed in the region next year, authorities said on Thursday. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said the pandemic is losing force in Mexico, though the death toll of 55,293 stands as the world's third highest, behind the United States and Brazil. Mexico's health ministry on Thursday reported 7,371 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 505,751.
The United Kingdom will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France on Saturday because COVID-19 infection rates there are too high, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday. The government, wary of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, also added the Netherlands, Malta and three other countries to its quarantine list. "Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN," Shapps said on Twitter.
- Associated Press
When Claudia Guzman suspected she had caught the coronavirus, her friends and family were full of advice: Don’t quarantine. A homemade tea will help cure you. False claims and conspiracy theories, ranging from bogus cures to the idea that the virus is a hoax, have dogged efforts to control the pandemic from the beginning.
In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak, Anthony Tan, the CEO of Southeast Asia's biggest ride-hailing firm, recalls how he mistook the infection to be a China-only problem, similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003. Tan, who co-founded Grab in 2012 with fellow Harvard Business School alumni Tan Hooi Lin, learnt he had to set thresholds and make decisive moves, even if they were unpopular. The pandemic is the first crisis for Southeast Asia's decade-old start-up ecosystem from which Grab has emerged a household name and the most valuable firm at over $14 billion.
Seven African countries will start administering coronavirus antibody tests from next week, a regional body said on Thursday, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent. "Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it," said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Addis Ababa. Western governments are using antibody tests to find out how many of their citizens have been infected, in the hope that will help them reopen their economies.
- Associated Press
London and its environs are home to a notable diversity of faiths and flocks. “It posed an immediate and immense challenge,” the Rev. Gordon said. In Neasden, a suburb northwest of London, a magnificent Hindu temple of carved stone constructed according to ancient Vedic architectural texts usually welcomes thousands of visitors a day.
Lockdowns and social distancing measures introduced around the world to try and curb the COVID-19 pandemic are reshaping lives, legislating activities that were once everyday freedoms and creating new social norms. A key factor is individualism versus collectivism. "Some countries...tend to be higher on individualism, which is about expressing your sense of identity and who you are as an individual," said Jay Van Bavel, an associate professor of psychology at New York University.
Nearly 6% of people in England were likely infected with COVID-19 during the peak of the pandemic, researchers studying the prevalence of infections said on Thursday, millions more people than have tested positive for the disease. A total of 313,798 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Britain, 270,971 of which have been in England, or just 0.5% of the English population. The results are consistent with other surveys, such as those conducted by the Office for National Statistics, which suggest higher levels of COVID-19 in the community during the pandemic than implied by daily testing statistics.
- Associated Press
Not two months after battling back the coronavirus, Spain’s hospitals have started seeing patients who are struggling to breathe returning to their wards. The deployment of a military emergency brigade to set up a field hospital in the northeastern city of Zaragoza this week is a grim reminder that Spain is far from claiming victory over the virus that overwhelmed the European country in March and April. The Spanish government’s top virus expert, Fernando Simón, said Thursday that the 3,500 hospital beds occupied nationally by coronavirus patients represented just 3% of the total capacity.