Posted by News Express | 14 July 2020 | 792 times
The coronavirus continues to spread across the Americas, with the US and Brazil, the world's hardest-hit countries, still cause for concern.
In the US, southern states like Florida and Texas in particular have become the new epicentres of the outbreak there. California, the most populous state, has reimposed restrictions on businesses and public spaces amid a spike of coronavirus infections.
In Latin America, there are worries that ill-equipped hospitals will not be able to cope as more infections are reported.
The Colombian capital Bogotá has joined a growing list of places where lockdowns are being reintroduced because of a surge in cases. They also include the Indian city of Bangalore, Iranian capital Tehran and Hong Kong, as well as Melbourne, Australia’s second-biggest city.
Meanwhile, in France, President Emmanuel Macron said he was in favour of making face masks compulsory in public indoor spaces to curtail the virus, adding such a measure could come into force from 1 August.
Around the world, there have been more than 13 million confirmed coronavirus cases with around 570,000 deaths.
As we just reported a moment ago, emergency measures have been introduced in Blackburn and Darwen in a bid to avoid a Leicester-style local lockdown.
People are being urged to abide by new, stricter guidance, in a bid to bring the number of coronavirus cases down, and are warned a tighter, Leicester-style local lockdown will follow if it doesn't work.
The measures include:
Wearing cloth face coverings in all enclosed public spaces, including workplaces, libraries, museums, health centres and hair and beauty salons
Targeted testing, with residents being told they do not need to have symptoms to be tested
Tighter limits on visitors from another household - no more than two people at a time
People asked to bump elbows in place of handshakes and hugs with those outside of their immediate family,
Health officials have warned that if infection rates continue to rise after two weeks the local authority will "have to consider reversing some of the national lockdown lifting measures locally".
Blackburn with Darwen's public health director, Prof Dominic Harrison, said: "These steps will help and we are appealing to everyone in Blackburn with Darwen to follow them to protect themselves and their loved ones.
"If we don't, a local lockdown, like in Leicester, becomes a very real possibility."
Mass testing began in the area at the weekend after 61 new cases sprang up within a week.
Figures show Blackburn with Darwen now has 41 new cases per 100,000 - up from 29.5.
Leicester, where a local lockdown has been imposed, has seen the rate fall from 156.8 per 100,000 in the seven days to 26 June, to 114.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to 10 July.
The place with the second-highest rate in England is in Pendle, Lancashire, where the rate has gone up from 14.2 to 67.8 per 100,000. (BBC)
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