World’s worst crisis since WW II, warns UN
MADRID • The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 30,000 lives in Europe alone, a global tally showed yesterday, in what the head of the United Nations has described as humanity’s worst crisis since World War II. Italy and Spain bore the brunt of the crisis, accounting for three in every four deaths on the continent.
Spain reported a record 864 deaths in 24 hours, pushing the country’s number of fatalities past 9,000. The toll is only dwarfed by Italy’s, where the virus has killed nearly 12,500 people. Confirmed cases in Spain also rose beyond 100,000 yesterday, while Italy has more than 105,000 cases.
UK deaths jump by record 563 in a day
LONDON • Britain reported 563 coronavirus deaths yesterday, the first time the national daily toll has exceeded 500, bringing the total fatalities to 2,352, according to official figures.
The health ministry said 29,474 people have now tested positive, an increase of 4,324 over the previous day.
According to preliminary research findings, however, lockdown and social distancing measures introduced by the British government to slow the spread of Covid-19 may already be working.
Scientists used an online survey to ask 1,300 people in Britain to list their contacts for the previous day – and found that the average number of contacts now is more than 70 per cent lower than before the lockdown.
Two weeks’ closure for more HK venues
HONG KONG • More entertainment establishments have been ordered by the government to close temporarily as the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases soared to 765 yesterday.
The Secretary of Food and Health Bureau Sophia Chan ordered karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and nightclubs to be closed from 6pm on Wednesday for two weeks.
Masks are also to be worn in beauty and massage parlours, as well as clubhouses. The directives came after new regulations were published in the government’s electronic gazette.