The technical lead of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) emergency program warns that masks alone are not enough to protect against the coronavirus, adding that people have to maintain physical distancing too.
“We noticed that some people aren’t really respecting social distancing anymore,” declared the epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove. She warns that everybody needs to try to do the physical distancing of at least 1 meter, even when wearing masks.
The list of measures published by the WHO to stop the spread of the virus, include wearing masks, maintain physical distancing, and wash hands regularly. “It’s not just masks alone, or just physical distancing alone, or just hand cleaning alone. Do it all,” stressed Van Kerkhove.
1. Recent developments in Europe
According to the WHO’s top official in Europe, the summer increase of covid-19 cases among young people may spread to older people, consequently causing a rise in the number of deaths.
The UN agency published guidelines for hotels and hospitality businesses, asking them to ensure social distancing by reducing the occupancy rate and by complying with basic prevention measures.
In Paris, masks are now mandatory outdoors throughout the city, with an exception for people practicing physical activity. This new regulation, which came into force on Friday, includes a fine of €135 euros for non-compliance.
On Thursday, Italy’s daily infections rose again. Most of the new infected are travelers returning from high-risk countries.
A 14-day quarantine is mandatory for all citizens returning to Germany from high-risk zones. President of the German Medical Association Klaus Reinhardt has proposed to monitor these travelers using the police during their quarantine. According to the president of an association of pediatricians in Germany, masks should be made mandatory for teachers in classrooms, as it is impossible to maintain a safe distance.
2. Recent developments in Asia
South Korea has reported over 200 new infections for the third consecutive day. In the past 15 days, the country has registered a triple-digit increase in cases. Last Thursday, South Korea reported 441 new cases, marking the biggest daily increase since March 7. According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, most of these new infections are concentrated in the Seoul metropolitan region.
The health minister of Bangladesh declared that his country has approved a late-stage trial of a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
Cases among indigenous people are also raising concerns. In India ten members of a tribe off the Andaman Islands have tested positive for coronavirus. On Friday, India recorded 77,266 cases: another daily record of new infections.
3. Recent developments in Americas
The Cuban government decided to introduce a night-time curfew from September 1 until 15. The country has reported a total of 3,806 cases, but a new outbreak in Havana has raised concerns.
In New York, the Museum of Modern Art has reopened on Thursday after nearly six months. It is the first major museum of NY city to reopen after the lockdown.
US President Donald Trump declared that the federal government will purchase 150 million new Covid-19 test kits.
This week, the FDA authorized the $5 rapid tests for coronavirus produced by Abbott Laboratories. The company said it will able to produce 50 million test kits per month starting in September.