BEIJING (AP) – China has extended the COVID-19 tests to newly reopened salons in a declining number, while South Korea continues to face new infections after easing social distance rules to uplift the economy.
In the US, Vice President Mike Pence has canceled a planned bus trip through the Florida campaign after a wave of confirmed cases there. Badly hit Italy registered the lowest daily number of COVID-19 deaths in nearly four months on Saturday.
No positive cases were found in Beijing’s beauty and barber shops, which is a further sign that the recent outbreak of the city has been largely brought under control.
Officials in Beijing have temporarily shut down a huge wholesale food market where the virus has spread widely, closing schools and shutting down a number of neighborhoods. Anyone leaving Beijing must have had a negative virus test result in the past seven days.
Tens of millions of Chinese traveled during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that ended Saturday, with no outbreaks reported immediately.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 40 of the newly reported cases were infected domestically, while 22 others were from abroad. Most of the local cases were detected in the densely populated metropolis of Seoul, connected to night clubs, church services, a huge e-commerce warehouse and low-income workers.
In Hawaii, the city of Honolulu has announced that campsites will reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distance. In contrast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee insisted on plans to move counties to the fourth stage of his reopening plan as cases continue to rise.
In a further sign of the impact on the U.S. economy, Tyson Foods announced that 371 workers at its chicken processing plant in the extreme southwest of Missouri tested positive for COVID-19.
Pence canceled a planned Florida bus tour in favor of his and President Donald Trump’s reelection, as state health officials reported more than 9,500 new cases on Saturday, surpassing the previous day’s total by more than 600 confirmed cases. The figures come as officials move to close beaches and discourage bar gatherings.
Kansas, Idaho and Oklahoma were also among the US states that saw a sharp rise.
While the rise is due in part to extensive testing, experts say there is ample evidence that the pest is making a comeback, including increasing deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the country and higher rates of virus testing returning positive.
According to data from the Italian Ministry of Health, eight deaths have occurred in infected patients since Friday, bringing the known number of people in the pandemic to 34,716.
There were 175 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country where the European outbreak first exploded to 240,136. In a sign that the country was emerging from the crisis, fewer than 100 infected patients occupy IC beds nationwide for the first time since the first days of the outbreak,
However, European leaders took no chances. The German authorities extended the shutdown in a western region of about 500,000 people last week after approximately 1,300 slaughterhouse workers were tested positive for COVID-19.
The Serbian government says Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has tested positive for the corona virus. Noted for his very pro-Russian stance, Vulin was part of the Serbian delegation led by President Aleksandar Vucic who attended a Victory Day parade this week in Moscow. Vucic met Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was not clear whether Vulin did the same.
The UK government is expected to delete a 14-day quarantine requirement that forced people to isolate themselves when returning from abroad. Confirmed cases of coronavirus in India exceeded half a million on Saturday with a record 24.5 hours on 18,552 infections.
Egypt has largely reopened. In Cairo, a metropolis of about 20 million people, coffee shops reopened on Saturday to receive internal customers, but smoking ‘sheesha’ from hookah pipes with hookah was still on hold.
The number of deaths in the US rises to about 600 a day, down from a high of about 2,200 in mid-April. Some experts doubt that deaths will return to that level due to advances in treatment and because many infections occur in younger adults, who survive more often than older ones.
The virus is responsible for more than 125,000 deaths and more than 2.5 million confirmed infections across the country in the US, according to Johns Hopkins. But health officials believe that the actual number of infections is about 10 times higher. Worldwide, the virus has claimed nearly half a million lives with nearly 10 million cases.
The revival in the US is worrying abroad. The European Union appears to be almost certain that Americans will be barred from entering the bloc, which is currently drawing up new travel rules, in the short term, according to EU diplomats.
Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.
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