Coronavirus News: June 15 – Cases Surge Globally, Beijing Under Lockdown, N.Y. Warns of Another Lockdown

By Anna Breuer on 15 June 2020
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A new spike in cases in a section of Beijing has resulted in part of the city being placed in lockdown.  The new cases were traced to the Xinfadi food market in the south part of the city. The market provides more than 90% of Beijing’s fruits and vegetables according to state media and is nicknamed the “fruit bowl” of the city.

Health officials said that the rate of infection the United States has been increasing in 22 states, level in eight, and decreasing in the rest.  Two states – Texas and North Carolina – reported a record number of virus-related hospitalizations over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the State of Florida broke its record for the most number of new COVID-19 cases three days in a row. The state recorded 2,581 new diagnoses on Saturday, after tallying 1,902 cases on Friday and 1,698 cases on Thursday.  The number of new cases on Sunday was 2,016, a figure only exceeded by Saturday’s record-breaking number.

In Asia, China reported its highest single-day number of new cases in over two months. Brazil now leads the world in daily death toll figures, leaving Mexico and the United States in the number two and three positions.

Officials in New York City and Houston are considering another lockdown.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that the state has been deluged with over 25,000 complaints about local businesses “that are in violation of the re-opening plan.” The record number of complaints – the governor said that the state has never received “more complaints in a shorter period of time” – spoke to the concern many residents have about the possibility of a rise in the number of infections in the state.

The governor said that bars in Manhattan and the Hamptons were not complying with the current rules and he warned local officials to enforce the state’s current regulations in order to avoid a return to the more severe measures seen in March and April. He also threatened to pull the liquor licenses of bars and restaurants that are caught breaking the law.

The city of Houston continues to have “a significant and uncontrolled level of coronavirus spread in the community,” causing local officials there to warn that a return to lockdown conditions could be imminent.

President Macron of France said that restaurants and cafés in Paris, which were supposed to fully reopen in a week from now, will reopen Monday.  France will return to a pre-coronavirus way of life starting then, he said. “The fight against the epidemic is not finished, but I am happy about this first victory against the virus,” he said in a speech to the nation Sunday afternoon.  The country shut down non-essential businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters, bars, and nightclubs in mid-March as the number of coronavirus cases in Europe surged.

Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country might ease its social distancing rules by July 4.

Jens Spahn, Bundesminister für Gesundheit or minister for health in Germany, announced that the country’s coronavirus contact tracing app would be released this week. The app, without keeping track of actual locations, can notify anyone who came into close contact with someone who tests positive for the virus.

In other news, Starbucks, meanwhile, will pivot from the coffeehouse model that made it so successful before the pandemic and expand its takeaway business.  It will also shutter as many as 400 stores in the United States and Canada in the next 18 months.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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