Steve July 26, 2020
the-latest:-spain-negotiates-with-britain-over-quarantines

MADRID — Spain says it is negotiating with Britain to exclude the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands from a 14-day quarantine imposed on travelers returning to Britain from Spain.

Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said Sunday, hours after the British measure took effect, that “our efforts at the moment are focused on ensuring that the British authorities can exclude the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands from their quarantine measures.”

The emergence of clusters of the coronavirus has worried authorities in northeast Catalonia and Aragón but has not appeared in Spain’s two archipelagos, which are highly popular tourist destinations for British and other European visitors.

González Laya says that the islands are “highly controlled territories” and that their current epidemiological situation is not worse than that of Britain.

Tui, Britain’s biggest tour operator, said Sunday it has canceled all flights due to depart to mainland Spain, but it has maintained flights and travel packages for trips to Spain’s Balearic and the Canary Islands.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

South Africa warns COVID-19 corruption puts ‘lives at risk’

Spain takes aim at nightclubs and beaches as virus rebounds

— Amid virus, uncertainty, parents decide how to school kids

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, saying he believes “the vicious virus” may have entered the country.

A German cruise ship has set sail for the first time since the industry was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, with strict precautions to keep passengers and crew as safe as possible.

Britain is advising people not to travel to Spain and has removed the country from the list of safe places to travel following a surge of COVID-19 cases.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

HONOLULU — As Hawaii prepares for the onslaught of Hurricane Douglas, state health department officials contacted each of the 625 people who were currently in isolation or quarantine as of Friday because they are either COVID-19 positive or have been in contact with someone who is. Every one of those indicated they would shelter-in-place and not seek refuge at a hurricane shelter.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that gives officials a sigh of relief.

Hawaii has some of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in the nation, but COVID-19 numbers have been rising in recent weeks. Every day since Thursday, Hawaii has reported record highs of newly confirmed cases, including 73 on Saturday.

Caldwell says 13 shelters were to open at 9 a.m. Sunday around Oahu, well ahead of the hurricane impacting the island, anywhere from midday into the evening. People will have to wear face coverings to be admitted, and will have to wear them unless they are eating, drinking or sleeping.

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BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia has reported a record number of daily cases of the new coronavirus.

Health authorities said Sunday that 467 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the outbreak. They said eight people have died.

Epidemiologist Darija Kisic Tepavcevic said, however, that there is reason to be optimistic because there have been fewer people in need of hospitalization.

Serbia has confirmed 23,730 cases of the virus while 534 people have died of COVID-19 in the country of some 7 million people.

Numbers of new infections spiked after the Balkan country fully relaxed lockdown measures in May that critics say was a maneuver to pave the way for a parliamentary vote in June. Authorities have denied this, but the government crisis team has faced calls to step down over its handling of the outbreak.

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BERLIN — A popular resort town in Austria has ordered restaurants and clubs to close early and urged people to avoid going out as it grapples with a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

The dpa news agency reported Sunday that hundreds of people have already been tested in the town of St. Wolfgang, east of Salzburg, after the outbreak was first detected Friday. At least 44 of those have tested positive, at least 26 whom are interns working in the tourism industry, Austria’s Kurier newspaper reported.

They’re thought to have become infected while partying in the town’s bars, two of which have now been temporarily closed to prevent further spread. All have been ordered to close no later than 11 p.m. until further notice, the Kurier reported.

Austria had relaxed many coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks, but has seen a rise in the number of infections lately.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz last week announced that the country was reintroducing mandatory face masks again in supermarkets, smaller grocery stores, post offices and banks.

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ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani health official is warning that the coronavirus curve that flattened last month could spike again in the country if people violate social distancing regulations during the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival.

The three-day festival will be celebrated in Pakistan starting July 31.

The health official, Zafar Mirza, said at a news conference Sunday that more than 80% of coronavirus patients have recovered in Pakistan. But he said the experience of other countries showed that COVID-19 cases could spike again in Pakistan if people don’t adhere to social distancing rules.

His comments came hours after Pakistan reported 1,226 new cases. The country has confirmed a total of 273,113 cases, including 5,822 deaths.

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LONDON — Britain’s foreign secretary defended the government’s decision to immediately impose COVID-19 quarantine measures on U.K. travelers returning from Spain, saying it just wasn’t possible to give them more notice.

Dominic Raab told Sky News that vague advice would have created more uncertainty. He said that the government must be able to take quick action to fight the virus.

The quick decision threw the plans of thousands into chaos — many of whom were startled to see such a decision imposed so quickly.

Zeta Hill is among them. The teacher from Essex in southeast England had been on holiday in Mallorca for 12 days and is due to fly back on Tuesday.

She said that while she knew she was taking a risk, the Balearic islands haven’t been as badly affected as other parts of Spain.

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has topped 16 million.

According to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. leads the count with 4.1 million, followed by 2.3 million in Brazil and 1.3 million in India.

The U.S. also has the highest number of deaths with 146,460, followed by 86,449 in Brazil and 45,823 in the U.K.

In the U.S., New York state leads with 32,608 deaths.

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JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has announced more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases as the total in one of the world’s worst affected countries reaches 434,200 with 6,655 deaths.

South Africa makes up well over half the confirmed cases on the African continent, where experts say the virus could smoulder in areas poorly served by health services.

Africa now has more than 828,000 cases. The true number of cases on the continent of 1.3 billion people is unknown because of testing shortages and insufficient data.

The World Health Organization has said more than 10,000 health workers in Africa have been infected, many of them nurses, further challenging efforts to contain the virus spread.

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HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam on Sunday reimposed restrictions in one of its most popular beach destinations after a second person tested positive for COVID-19, the first locally transmitted cases in the country in over three months.

Da Nang authorities in central Vietnam banned gatherings of more than 30 people in public places as well as all sport, cultural and religious events in the city of 1.1 million. Theme parks, beauty salons, bars and clubs were also ordered shut.

People were advised to practice social distancing, wear masks and wash hands regularly.

On Sunday, a 61-year-old man was confirmed to be infected, a day after a 57-year-old tested positive for the coronavirus. Both are in critical condition and require life support.

A team of doctors who successfully cured a British pilot from COVID-19 flew to Da Nang to direct the treatment of the two patients.

Health workers, however, have not been able to establish a connection between the two men, nor trace the source of infection. It’s reported that for the last month, they did not travel out of the city, where there’s been no case of COVID-19 since April.

Several hundred people who had been in contact with the men have initially tested negative for the virus. The city has also started testing for the coronavirus on a larger scale.

Vietnam has not allowed international commercial fights to resume, but has been operating repatriation fights for stranded Vietnamese overseas and international experts. All arrivals must go through quarantine at designated facilities.

The new infections bring Vietnam’s cases to 418 with no deaths.

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BEIJING — China reported 46 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the highest daily tally in more than a month, as it took steps to stem recent outbreaks that have infected more than 160 people at opposite ends of the country.

Authorities confirmed 22 cases in Urumqi, a city in the Xinjiang region in the country’s far west, the official Xinhua News Agency said. That raised the total in the local outbreak to 137 since the first case was detected 10 days ago.

Another 13 cases were confirmed in Liaoning province in the northeast, bringing the total there to 25, almost all in the city of Dalian.

The National Health Commission also reported 11 imported cases in the latest 24-hour period, in people who had arrived from overseas.

China has recorded 83,830 cases and 4,634 deaths since the pandemic began. The Health Commission said that 288 patients remain in treatment, including 18 in critical condition.

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SEOUL, South Korea — The number of South Korea’s new coronavirus cases has fallen back to below 60, a day after it reported 100-plus for the first time in nearly four months.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 58 additional cases over the past 24-hour period, bringing the total to 14,150 with 298 deaths.

Twelve of the newly confirmed cases were locally infected while the rest came from overseas.

Health authorities said the 113 cases on Saturday were mostly imported infections found among cargo ship crews and hundreds of South Korean construction workers airlifted out of virus-ravaged Iraq.

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SYDNEY — Australia’s Victoria state recorded 10 deaths overnight from COVID-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing surge in coronavirus cases.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest COVID-19 fatalities in Australia.

There are 459 new infections, the 21st straight day of triple-figure increases.

The fatalities bring Victoria’s toll to 71 and Australia’s national tally to 155. A total of 228 people are hospitalized in Victoria, 42 in intensive care.

Victoria processed 42,973 tests on Saturday, Andrews said, “far and away the biggest testing result that we’ve seen on a single day.”

He said he is not currently planning to extend the lockdown in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.

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ATLANTA — Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff says he’s in isolation with his wife, who contracted COVID-19.

The 33-year-old candidate said his wife, Dr. Alisha Kramer, has mild coronavirus symptoms and that he’s showing symptoms, too. He said he was tested Saturday and is awaiting results while self-quarantining.

Ossoff’s campaign communications director, Miryam Lipper, said on Twitter that he “has not held or participated in an in-person campaign event in over a month and will remain in isolation until medical professionals clear both him and” his wife.

Ossoff, a young media executive known for breaking fundraising records during a 2017 special election loss for a U.S. House seat, is in a competitive race against Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue. The 70-year-old incumbent is a close ally of President Tweety McTreason and is seeking a second term in November.

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