Virus

Spain sees new COVID-19 cases double

As Spain saw new COVID-19 cases inch up for the second day in a row on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Spain’s economy is the world’s most susceptible to damage from a second wave of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Spanish doctors diagnosed 167 COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health data published Wednesday. On Monday 84 cases were detected, and on Sunday the number hit a record low of 48 cases.

The number of new contagions still remains a fraction of what it was at its peak of nearly 10,000 per day in late March.

So far, a total of 242,280 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Spain. Of this group, 27,136 people have died, according to official statistics which have not been effectively updated for weeks.

Besides the loss of life and costs to the healthcare system, new economic projections released by the OECD give Spain even more reason to worry about a second outbreak.

The organization suggests that Spain would be the most economically affected economy in the world if a second coronavirus wave were to occur. It estimates that country’s GDP would plummet by 14.4%.

According to the report, fall in domestic demand due to job destruction and paralyzed activity would be a key driver of the historic slump. It also predicts that tourism losses this year will weigh heavily on the country’s economy.

Current projections by the Bank of Spain suggest the country’s GDP will drop this year by a minimum of 9%.

And while the coronavirus’s national spread has seemingly come under control for now, once Spain opens its borders to international travel on July 1, containing the pandemic could become more complicated.

Globally, the virus is spreading more rapidly now than earlier this spring. Last Sunday saw the confirmation of over 136,000 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government has also put into law the post-lockdown scenario. To help prevent a second wave, face masks, hygiene measures and physical distance will remain mandatory until an effective treatment or vaccine is discovered.

Sky News: Boris Johnson to announce zoos can reopen in latest easing of lockdown

Zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen next week, in the latest moves to relax coronavirus lockdown rules being announced by Boris Johnson.

Bowing to pressure from MPs, animal-lovers and conservationists – including his own father Stanley – the prime minister will declare that zoos can reopen from next Monday, 15 June.

Outdoor attractions where people stay in their cars, such as safari parks and drive-in cinemas, will also be allowed to reopen from Monday, given the low risk of coronavirus transmission.

BBC News: Zoos and safari parks set to reopen from 15 June – PM

Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas are set to reopen in England from Monday, the PM is due to announce.

Boris Johnson is expected to outline the latest step in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown at Wednesday’s daily briefing.

He will say the outdoor attractions can reopen as long as they follow social distancing rules.

Some zoos, including Chester Zoo and London Zoo, have reported financial struggles during the pandemic.

The move will pave the way for zoos to reopen in England alongside non-essential shops, which can also open from 15 June

Sky News: Health minister Helen Whately blames scientists for care home deaths – then quickly rows back

A minister said the government could pin the blame on scientific advisers for ministers’ handling of the coronavirus in care homes, before quickly rowing back.

Health minister Helen Whately was challenged over the effect of COVID-19 in adult social care during an interview with Sky News.

She told Kay Burley@Breakfast that there was guidance for care homes “very early” in the coronavirus pandemic.

“At all points in this we follow the scientific guidance as to what is the right thing to do,” Ms Whately added.

When it was put to the minister that “you can’t stick this on the scientists”, she replied: “Well, I can.”

CNBC: WHO walks back comments on asymptomatic coronavirus spread, says much is still unknown

The World Health Organization walked back comments made Monday when one of its top scientists said transmission of the coronavirus by people who never developed symptoms is “very rare,” which drew skepticism from physicians and others across social media. 

That admission sent shock waves throughout the world, much of which has been locked down for months for fear of spreading the virus by people who show no signs of illness. 

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Tuesday that asymptomatic spread is a “really complex question” and much is still unknown. “We don’t actually have that answer yet,” she said.

“I was responding to a question at the press conference. I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that. I was just trying to articulate what we know,” she said on a live Q&A streamed across multiple social media platforms. “And in that, I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that that’s misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. I was referring to a small subset of studies.”

City A.M: Coronavirus deaths in the UK rise by 286

The UK’s death toll from coronavirus has risen by 286, it was announced today.

Almost 130 of those deaths occurred in hospital after testing positive for the virus, NHS England said this afternoon. For overall deaths, data from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the toll rose by 286 as of 5pm yesterday.

The government’s total death toll from confirmed cases of coronavirus now stands at 40,883. However according to wider data which factors in deaths from suspected cases, the total toll is likely to be closer to 52,000.

New Scientist: Is it safe for coronavirus ‘shielders’ in the UK to go outside now?

THE easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK has prompted growing concern from those taking extra precautions because they are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. On 31 May, the UK government announced that so-called shielders in England and Wales could now leave their homes. But what is the evidence behind the idea of shielding vulnerable people, and is it really safe for this to now stop?

Many countries have told those thought to be at higher risk from coronavirus due to illness or age to take extra safety precautions. But because this virus is so new, advice has largely been based on people’s best judgements, rather than scientific evidence, and the details of the advice has varied between countries.

The UK has been unusual in distinguishing between two groups of people at higher risk. In March, letters were sent to about 2 million people thought to be “clinically extremely vulnerable”, including some people with cancer, lung conditions such as severe asthma, and those who had had an organ transplant or have weak immune systems. Recipients were told they should stay home at all times. If they had no friends or family who could fetch essentials, they could get food parcels sent.

New Scientist: How the coronavirus pandemic is fuelling online trolls and scams

AS GOVERNMENTS battle to contain the transmission of covid‑19, they have also struggled to stymie the spread of related online misinformation and vitriol.

The pandemic has resulted in the rapid propagation of conspiracy theories that pose a risk to public health, a surge in online anti-Asian hate speech and a proliferation of covid-19 scams.

Much of the misinformation shared online about coronavirus is being disseminated by sites that have peddled conspiracy theories about other topics, such as vaccines and the 9/11 attacks, says John Gregory at NewsGuard, a …

Sacha Stone — We Are Consenting to Our Life Force Being Harvested

In this video we discuss all kinds of things from tax robbery to the toxic build up within human beings (biological weaponry) to keep them asleep and disconnected from their true self. Sacha Stone is a fierce warrior of the light… and came across the disturbing truths of what is taking place behind the scenes and the level of corruption that moves its way through all systems governing planet earth. He has devoted every waking day for the past 20 years in order to put a stop to it. Sacha’s perspective on physical and metaphysical reality is incredibly powerful … as he see’s NO victims… only powerful God’s dressed in human suits… who are in the process of remembering their own divine spark. During our interview Sacha shares that we are all giving permission to everything that is currently in existence. Although at any given moment we can revoke our permission, which is what is happening on a global scale as we speak. We are moving through huge shifts and as Sacha says…. “we’ve already won.” I couldn’t agree with this statement more… but of course some trials and tribulations still lie ahead. Enjoy the video… and share with your beloveds if you feel they are ready for the message. Sacha has many more powerful videos on various topics, check them out on the ITNJ’s YouTube channel or head straight to his website. ITNJ: https://www.itnj.org/ Sacha’s Website: http://sachastone.com/

BBC News: Pandemic pushes US into official recession

The economic downturn in the US triggered by the pandemic has been officially declared a recession.

The National Bureau of Economic Research made the designation on Tuesday, citing the scale and severity of the current contraction.

It said activity and employment hit a “clear” and “well-defined” peak in February, before falling.

The ruling puts a formal end to what had been more than a decade of economic expansion – the longest in US history.

Meanwhile, US markets continued their rebound on Monday, as investors remained optimistic that the downturn will be short-lived.

The Guardian: Pub gardens in England could reopen from 22 June – reports

Opening beer gardens before the end of the month would give struggling pubs a psychological boost but most would still lose money, JD Wetherspoon’s founder, Tim Martin, has said.

The government is reportedly ready to let pub beer gardens in England reopen from 22 June as part of plans drawn up by a group of ministers, dubbed the “Save Summer Six”, who are looking at ways to restart the hospitality industry earlier than initially planned.

The proposals, first reported in the Financial Times, would allow some of the 27,000 pubs that have outdoor space to serve customers for the first time in three months.