New Zealand has recorded another two Covid-19 cases, among people who are in managed isolation facilities.
The NZ Herald reports that one of the new cases is a woman in her 20s who arrived from India on 18 June.
The paper says there are now 16 Covid-19 cases in New Zealand, although all are in managed isolation or quarantine facilities. That is, there are no cases in the community.
Health authorities said on Friday that 71 return travellers in New Zealand are also refusing to be tested for Covid-19. The issue is becoming a growing concern in Australia, where about 30% of return travellers to Melbourne have refused to be tested.
Almost 5,000 thermometers are being shipped to Victorian holiday spots as the state nervously enters the school holidays amid a resurgent coronavirus crisis.
The state government is distributing about 4,800 of the infrared thermometers while testing clinics will be set up on the Great Ocean Road and in the Victorian Alps to coincide with the holidays, AAP reported.
The health advice for Victorians is that they can travel within the state during the fortnight of the school holidays as long as they are healthy.
Anyone with virus symptoms, however mild, must stay home and undergo testing.
Meanwhile, about 260 people arrived in Adelaide from Mumbai on Saturday morning, according to AAP, while hundreds are expected to follow from South America, Indonesia and India.
The South Australian health minister, Stephen Wade, is preparing for about 5%-10% of returnees to have the virus, as was the case when people arrived from Indonesia in other states.
Despite the outbreak of coronavirus cases in parts of Melbourne, restrictions are being eased across Australia.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Friday the spike in cases was being managed appropriately. He said he believed it was reasonable for states to bar residents from hotspots, as the Northern Territory government has confirmed it will do.
“We remain on track, the curve remains flat,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Except for Western Australia, all jurisdictions will restart domestic travel during July, a commitment Morrison expects states to uphold.
In Australia, politicians from both major parties have labelled returned travellers in quarantine in Victoria refusing Covid-19 tests as “reckless” and “selfish”.
The state has become the focal point of concerns for authorities due to the rising case numbers in Melbourne, but Victoria’s deputy health officer, Annaliese van Diemen, revealed on Friday about 30% of returning international travellers are refusing to be tested, despite multiple offers during their 14-day stay.
“Frankly, I think it is recklessly indifferent of people in quarantine not to agree to have a test, because we’ve seen the number of people that are in quarantine testing positive is obviously a lot higher than the rest of the population,” the Liberal MP, Trent Zimmerman, told the ABC on Saturday morning.
“If they are not prepared to do that, they shouldn’t come back.”
The Labor frontbencher, Linda Burney, labelled their actions “really selfish”.
“The reason that Australia is doing relatively well in terms of the virus is because of the testing regimes and we know how important they are,” she said.
Mexico records more than 5,000 new cases, 719 deaths
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Friday 5,441 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 719 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 208,392 cases and 25,779 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, according to Reuters.
US records highest rise in cases, fuelled by spread in Florida, Texas and Arizona
The news about US travellers being barred from entering the EU come as the country on Friday recorded its highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
Florida, Texas and Arizona – where cases are rising at a particularly concerning rate – announced on Friday they would delay plans to lift coronavirus restrictions in response. The US president, Donald Trump, meanwhile, would cancel a golf trip to New Jersey, the White House said.
US travellers to be blocked from EU travel
In the US, my colleague Sam Levin reported earlier that most US residents will likely be blocked from travelling to the European Union when travel restarts, according to multiple news outlets.
EU officials are in the process of settling on a final “safe list” of countries whose residents could travel to the block in July, but the US, Brazil and Russia are set to be excluded over coronavirus concerns, Reuters reported.
With coronavirus continuing to spread in the US at alarming rates, the possibility of allowing American tourists into the EU is not even part of the ongoing discussion, six diplomats familiar with the talks told the Washington Post.
The list of allowed countries includes China, but on the condition that China allows EU travellers to visit, the New York Times reported.
Various travel restrictions remain across the globe. Greece, for example, requires Covid-19 tests for arrivals from a number of EU countries, including France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Self isolation is also mandatory until results come in.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, with me Luke Henriques-Gomes. You can get in touch by email [email protected] or on Twitter @lukehgomes.
The US has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 case increase, with 40,870 new infections on Friday. It brings the total number of Americans to who have tested positive to at least 2.462m.
Brazil has also hit a daily milestone, recording 46,860 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 990 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Friday. It brings Brazil’s total cases to 1.274m.
In Australia, concern is mounting over growing level of infections in the Victorian capital Melbourne, where the number of cases from unknown sources has surpassed those from known clusters. Although Australia has all but eliminated the virus in large swathes of the country, allowing some states to reopen their economies, the authorities are worried the Victorian case numbers suggests there is now significant community transmission.
The other main developments so far include:
- The global death toll passed 492,00, while 9.7m cases have been recorded worldwide.
- The UK government said it would change restrictions for travellers, allowing for people to return from popular holiday spots such as Spain, Greece and France.
- The World Health Organisation-led coalition fighting the coronavirus needs$31.3bn over the next 12 months to develop and roll out tests, treatments and vaccines. The WHO initiative aims to scale up delivery of 500m tests and 245m courses of treatments to low and middle-income countries by mid-2021, it said in a statement.
- Japan recorded on Friday more than 100 new infections for the first time since 9 May, hitting its highest daily total since it eased lockdown.
- Italy has sent soldiers to restore order in a coastal town near Naples after a coronavirus outbreak at an apartment complex illegally occupied by hundreds of migrant workers caused angry confrontations with residents, Reuters reports.
- South Africa will allow casinos and cinemas to reopen and restaurants to resume sit-down meals on Monday in a further easing of lockdown restrictions despite a sharp rise in infections.