By The Associated Press
ISLAMABAD — The number of new coronavirus infections in Pakistan continued to spiral upward, as thenation of 220 million people surpassed 100,000 cases as of Sunday with more than 2,000 deaths.
The daily infection rate spiked after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended and markets were thrown open during the Eid-al Fitr holiday at the end of May. That followed the government refusing to close mosques and deciding to open up the country even as medical professionals pleaded for a stricter lockdown,
Since then the daily infection rates have held fairly steady with just under 5,000 new cases each day. Testing has held steady in recent days at about 22,000 each day, with government officials saying Pakistan aimed to eventually carry out 30,000 tests every day.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has gone on national television to tell Pakistanis the country’s poorest cannot survive a strict lockdown.
The International Monetary fund and the Asian Development Bank have both give Pakistan millions of dollars in bridge loans to ease the economic impact of the pandemic pummeling economies worldwide.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Worldwide virus deaths pass 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins tally.
— Brazil yanks providing virus death tolls as data befuddles experts.
— Tens of thousands in Europe are out on the streets once more to protest racism and police brutality in what is becoming an international Black Lives Matter movement.
— Coronavirus disrupts global fight to save endangered species.
— Travel restrictions and lockdowns have made for one of Normandy’s loneliest D-Day remembrances.
— Britain faces criticism for another sudden change in its advice on face masks: all hospital staff in England will wear surgical face masks beginning June 15 while visitors will need some sort of face covering.
— While seasonal colds and the flu spread through NFL locker rooms most years, many players polled by The Associated Press say they’re scared to return to work without a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Go to https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates throughout the day.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Data from the New Mexico Health Department shows COVID-19 infections among health care workers in the state have spiked as intensive care units remain full and nurses and first responders call for more protective equipment.
The data shows 492 workers were diagnosed in May, marking a 219% increase from the 154 workers who had tested positive for the coronavirus the month before.
Human Services Secretary David Scrase told the Albuquerque Journal that the increase was expected.
The largest increase came in Bernalillo County — home to three of the state’s COVID-19 hub hospitals. San Juan and McKinley counties also had surges.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta, the city hardest hit by the new coronavirus, has partly reopened after two months of partial lockdown as the world’s fourth most populous nation braces to gradually reopen its economy.
The city of 11 million people, with a total of 30 million in its greater metropolitan area, has been under large-scale social restrictions since April 10.
Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan announced that all worship facilities will be allowed to reopen with half their capacity and social distancing measures on Friday, followed by offices, restaurants and grocery stores that begin to resume activities with only 50% of their employees and clients on Monday. The measure also applies to public transportation.
Schools are closed during this month’s transition phase to the so-called “new normal,” while some shopping centres, zoo and beaches will open their doors next week.
But the major transport and industrial hub has now signalled the end of its isolation, with social media showing long lines of travelers queued at train stations, many ignoring social distancing rules.
Jakarta, the first large city to enforce a partial lockdown in the country, has recorded more than 8,033 confirmed cases with 529 deaths. Nationwide, there’s been 31,186 infections and 1,851 fatalities.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has eradicated the coronavirus from its shores after health officials reported that the final person known to have contracted an infection had recovered.
It has been 17 days since the last new case was reported in New Zealand, and Monday also marked the first time since late February that there have been no active cases. Health officials caution that new cases could be imported into the country, which has closed its borders to everybody but citizens and residents, with some exceptions.
Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said it was a pleasing development.
“Having no active cases for the first time since February 28 is certainly a significant mark in our journey but as we’ve previously said, ongoing vigilance against COVID-19 will continue to be essential,” Bloomfield said.
Experts say a number of factors have helped the nation of 5 million wipe out the disease, including its isolated location, along with leadership shown by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who imposed a strict lockdown early on during the outbreak. Just over 1,500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, including 22 who died.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 38 new cases of COVID-19 as infections continue to rise in the densely populated capital area.
The figures by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday brought national totals to 11,814 cases and 273 deaths.
All but four of the new cases came from the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live, as officials scramble to stem transmissions linked to e-commerce workers, door-to-door sellers and people who went out amid loosened social distancing.
Health Minister Park Neunghoo, during a virus meeting, called for officials to examine the supplies of test equipment in case infections continue to increase. He also called for education officials to double-check preventive measures with millions of children returning to school.
Classes on Monday were reopened for around 1.3 million middle-school freshmen and fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school kids in the last stage of a phased reopening of schools, which began with high school seniors on May 13.
Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
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