Spain puts 200,000 under coronavirus lockdown: Live updates | News


  • Spain’s Catalonia region has placed restrictions on 200,000 people amid surge in new coronavirus cases.

  • People in Englad will be allowed to visit pubs, restaurants or get a haircut for the first time in more than three months as restrictions ease.

  • The WHO urges countries hit by serious coronavirus outbreaks to “wake up” to the realities on the ground instead of bickering, and to “take control” of the pandemic. 

  • Brazil passes 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising.

Here are the latest updates.

Saturday, July 4

13:45 GMT – Mexico steps up border checks to keep COVID-19 at bay over July 4 holiday

Mexican officials will install health checkpoints at various entry points along its northern border this weekend, as both Mexican and US officials fear a surge of crossings for the July 4 holiday could spread the coronavirus.

Mexican consulates across the US issued warnings last week on social media of the ramped-up measures scheduled for July 2 through July 5, and urged people to refrain from crossing for recreation or tourism.

A ban on non-essential border travel has been in place since March in an attempt by both governments to limit coronavirus infections, yet cross-border traffic has been busy.


Hi, this is Linah Alsaafin in Doha, taking over from my colleague Usaid Siddiqui.


12:40 GMT – Protest at slaughterhouse at centre of German virus cluster

Animal rights activists in Germany attempted to block access to a slaughterhouse at the center of a large coronavirus outbreak.

The slaughterhouse, owned by the Tonnies Group, has been linked to more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases in the region, triggering a partial lockdown of two counties.

Police confirmed that about 20 people were protesting outside the entrance to the site.




Martin Landray: World needs a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 | Talk to Al Jazeera

12:15 GMT – Barcelona basilica reopens for health workers

Barcelona’s iconic La Sagrada Familia basilica has reopened its doors for visits exclusively for health workers after nearly four months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The basilica invited a first group of health workers to visit the temple designed by architect Antoni Gaudí. More will be able to visit on Sunday and on July 11-12 during a reopening phase the church is calling an “homage” to doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

11:50 GMT – Tunisia’s tourism earnings drop 47 percent amid virus spread

Tunisia’s revenues fromáthe vital tourism industry dropped by 47 percent in the first half of this year amid an outbreak of the new coronavirus, figures from the country’s central bank showed.

The North African country’s tourism sector has felt the brunt of lockdown measures imposed more than three months ago in Tunisia to contain the spread of the virus.

11:23 GMT – Iran imposes new curbs as coronavirus toll rises

Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, President Hassan Rouhani said as he launched new measures to try to curb the coronavirus.

Iran has been battling the spread of the coronavirus, with the total number of cases hitting 237,878 on Saturday and a further 148 deaths bringing the country’s toll to 11,408, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.

Nrses work in a COVID-19 ward of the Shohadaye Tajrish Hospital in Tehran, Iran. After months of fighting the coronavirus, Iran only just saw its highest single-day spike in reported cases after Eid a

 Wearing masks becomes mandatory from Sunday in covered public places, President Hassan Rouhani said on state television [Vahid Salemi/AP]

10:55 GMT – Ugandan dies after setting fire to himself over motorcycle impounded over COVID-19 violations

A Ugandan man has died after setting fire to himself in a police station when officers allegedly demanded a bribe to release his motorcycle, which he was using as a taxi and which had been impounded over violation of coronavirus restrictions.

The case has provoked anger among Ugandans who say it reflects widespread abuse by security personnel, including beatings, detentions and extortion that in the current climate are often disguised as enforcement of coronavirus regulations.

10:15 GMT – Catalonia places 200,000 people under lockdown

Spain’s north-east Catalonia region has placed restrictions on 200,000 people near the town of Lleida amid surge in new COVID-19 infections.

From 4 pm local time (6 pm GMT) onwards, no one will be able to enter or leave the region, Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reported from London, adding the move comes as a surprise.

The move comes as Spain’s hospitality sector was hoping to salvage what remains of the all-important summer season. Regional health ministry data showed there were 3,706 cases in the Lleida region on Friday, up from 3,551 the previous day.

09:55 GMT – Tokyo seeks travel curbs as new infections top 100 for third day

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday urged residents of the Japanese capital not to travel beyond its borders as new coronavirus infections topped 100 for a third day, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Tokyo confirmed 131 new cases of infections of the coronavirus, NHK said.

Cases in Tokyo have risen to a two-month high, driven by the spread of the virus in the capital’s nightspots. Of Saturday’s tally, 100 were in their 20s and 30s, Kyodo news agency said, citing Koike.

Japan Tokyo

 Cases in Tokyo have risen to a two-month high, driven by the spread of the virus in the capital’s nightspots [Charly Triballeau/AFP]

09:30 GMT – ‘Eat out to help out’, finance chief tells Britons

The British finance minister has urged people to “eat out to help out” the economy claw its way from a historic decline sparked by the coronavirus crisis.

The comments by Chancellor Rishi Sunak were published on the day England finally reopened its beloved pubs and the rest of the hospitality sector after more than three months of lockdown.

The United Kingdom’s shutdown has been one of Europe’s longest because of a high death toll of 44,131 – that only trails those of the United States and Brazil.

08:55 GMT – England’s pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen

People were finally allowed to drink in a pub, have a meal in a restaurant or get a haircut for the first time in more than three months as England took its biggest steps yet towards the resumption of normal life.

Pubs were permitted to start serving from 6am, sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of coronavirus restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight.

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Chester

A woman gets her hair coloured at Blow by Suave as it reopens following the COVID-19 outbreak, in Chester, UK [Molly Darlington/Reuters]

08:25 GMT – Louvre Museum to reopen on Monday after crippling losses

The Louvre in Paris, the world’s most visited museum and home to the Mona Lisa, reopens on Monday but with coronavirus restrictions in place and parts of the complex closed to visitors.

The Louvre has been closed since March 13 and this has already led “to losses of over 40 million euros”, its director Jean-Luc Martinez said.

Among more than 10 million visitors in 2018, almost three quarters were tourists.

07:54 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases near 675,000, death toll passes 10,000

Russia reported 6,632 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally of infections to 674,515.

The authorities said that 168 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,027.

Grave diggers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) bury a person, who presumably died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the special purpose section of a

Russia has the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world after the US and Brazil [Anton Vaganov [Reuters]

07:28 GMT – Dominican Republic vote goes ahead despite virus threat

Voters in the Dominican Republic are set to defy rising coronavirus infections on Sunday to choose a new president in an election that could end 16 years of unbroken rule by the centre-left Dominican Liberation Party.

Opposition candidate Luis Abinader is favourite, having taken a commanding lead in opinion polls despite being forced to abandon his campaign after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Abinader, a 52-year-old businessman, had recovered sufficiently to close out his campaign at a rally on Wednesday.

07:02 GMT – New highest daily jump in India with 22,772 cases

India reported its biggest single-day spike of 22,772 coronavirus cases and 442 deaths, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.

The coronavirus positive cases now stand at 648,315, while 18,655 people have died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

06:40 GMT – Victoria reports 108 new cases, biggest jump in three months

Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases since late March on Saturday, forcing it to expand stay-at-home orders to two more suburbs and sending nine public housing towers in a complete lockdown.

The southeastern state recorded 108 new cases, up from 66 on Friday and more than 70 new cases in each of the previous four days, forcing authorities to reimpose lockdowns in more than 30 suburbs earlier in the week.

06:16 GMT – South Africa reports record daily infections

South Africa has announced another record daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 9,064, as Africa’s most developed country shows signs of strain in coping with the pandemic.

Thirty percent of South Africa’s more than 177,000 cases are now in Gauteng province, which contains Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Langa township in Cape Town

More than 2,900 people in the country have died [File: Mike Hutchings/Reuters]

05:55 GMT – Bolsonaro waters down Brazilian mask-wearing law

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has watered down a law that would require widespread mask-wearing in the country to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to the Diario Official government journal.

He approved the law on wearing protective masks in public, but weakened it by vetoing language that would have required Brazilians to cover their faces in places like schools, shops and churches.

05:30 GMT – Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend tests coronavirus positive

The girlfriend of President Donald Trump’s eldest son has tested positive for coronavirus, US media reported.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News television personality who is dating Donald Trump Jr, had travelled to South Dakota to see the US president’s Fourth of July speech and celebration fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

Guilfoyle, 51, was immediately isolated after discovering she had the virus in a routine test conducted on anyone expected to come in close contact with the president, the New York Times reported.

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. speak at a press conference in Des Moines

Guilfoyle, left, is the third person close to the US president to return a positive COVID-19 test [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

 


Hi, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha, taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.


04:10 GMT – Sixty-three new cases in large cities in South Korea            

South Korea reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus, continuing a weeks-long resurgence as new clusters pop up in various parts of the country.

The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday brought national totals to 13,030 infections, including 283 deaths.

Twenty-eight of the new cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of South Korea’s 51 million people live. Infections were also reported in large cities such as Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju, where hundreds of schools have been shut and social restrictions elevated.

Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seoul, South Korea

Infections were reported in large cities such as Busan, Daegu, Daejeon and Gwangju, where hundreds of schools have been shut and social restrictions elevated [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

03:40 GMT – US marks another new daily record for infections

The United States reported 57,683 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed, making Friday the third consecutive day the country logged more than 50,000 new cases.  

The Baltimore-based university’s tracker showed the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the US at 2,793,022.    

The university also recorded a further 728 fatalities, bringing the total US death toll to 129,405.

02:48 GMT – Colombia judge bans special restrictions for the elderly

A Colombian judge has prohibited the government from subjecting those aged 70 or older to special restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

The judge described as discriminatory the measures which prescribe quarantine for the elderly until the end of August while lifting movement restrictions on the rest of the population in mid-July.

01:17 GMT – Brazil surpasses 1.5 million coronavirus cases

Brazil reported 42,223 additional coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said, bringing the total tally to 1,539,081.

The number of coronavirus deaths rose by 1,290 to 63,174, according to the ministry.

A member of Brazilian Armed Forces medical team examines a man from the indigenous Yanomami ethnic group

A member of the Brazilian armed forces’ medical team examines a man from the Indigenous Yanomami ethnic group [Adriano Machado/ Reuters]

01:13 GMT – Air France, Hop! to shed 7,580 jobs

Air France management said it planned to eliminate 7,580 jobs at the airline and its regional unit Hop! by the end of 2022 because of the coronavirus crisis.

The planned job cuts amount to 16 percent of Air France’s staff and 40 percent of those at Hop!

“For three months, Air France’s activity and turnover have plummeted 95 percent, and at the height of the crisis, the company lost 15 million euros a day,” said the group, which anticipated a “very slow” recovery.

00:46 GMT – Global coronavirus cases rise to more than 11 million

Global coronavirus cases have exceeded 11 million, according to tallies by Reuters news agency and the Johns Hopkins University, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months.

The number of cases is more than double the figure for severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the WHO.

Many hard-hit countries are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus while making extensive alterations to work and social life that could last for a year or more until a vaccine is available.

Some countries are experiencing a resurgence in infections, leading authorities to partially reinstate lockdowns, in what experts say could be a recurring pattern into 2021.

00:13 GMT – Several US states hit highs in COVID-19 cases

Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alaska reported record increases in coronavirus cases on Friday as Florida’s most populous county imposed a curfew in advance of the Independence Day weekend.

The surge in cases, most pronounced in southern and western states, has alarmed public health officials, who urged caution before a July 4th holiday weekend that in normal times would feature big gatherings of families and friends.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 3, here

The United Kingdom’s shutdown has been one of Europe’s longest because of a high death toll of 44,131 – that only trails those of the United States and Brazil.





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