Covid-19 news: New coronavirus outbreak linked to market in Beijing
New coronavirus outbreak linked to market in Beijing
36 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in China’s capital Beijing today, bringing the total for the past four days to 79. Lockdown restrictions in Beijing were eased in May, and the city had reported no new confirmed cases – except for citizens returning from other countries – for 55 days before the new cases were detected. The new cluster of cases are thought to be linked to the city’s largest seafood and vegetable market, which has now been closed. Chinese authorities are warning citizens against travel to the capital and some lockdown restrictions have been reimposed in parts of the city.
Other coronavirus news
A study suggesting that reducing physical distancing from two metres to one metre only minimally increases coronavirus infection risk from 1.3 to 2.6 per cent is being criticised by scientists. The study, which was funded by the World Health Organization (WHO), didn’t consider how long people were exposed for and may have oversimplified the way infection risk changes with increasing physical distance, public health and statistics researchers told The Guardian.
The UK government will review the current two-metre social distancing recommendation in coming weeks, a spokesperson for UK prime minister Boris Johnson told journalists today. The government’s chief medical adviser Chris Whitty previously said the two-metre rule would carry on for as long as the epidemic continues.
Self-reported anxiety levels in the UK have fallen slightly after they went up following the introduction of lockdown in March, although reported anxiety levels are still higher than this time last year, according to a survey of 6430 people aged 16 and over by the Office for National Statistics. 37 per cent of people reported experiencing high levels of anxiety between 30 April and 10 May. This is compared to 50 per cent of people between 20 and 30 March, the period of time when the UK’s lockdown was introduced, and 19 per cent in the last three months of 2019.
Alabama, Florida and South Carolina reported record numbers of daily new coronavirus cases on 13 June for the third day running. On the same day, Oklahoma reported its highest number of coronavirus cases for the second day in a row. Daily new cases are also rising in Louisiana. More than a dozen US states have seen a surge in covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
The ban against travel to the US from the UK is unlikely to be lifted in the next few months, US government health adviser Anthony Fauci told The Telegraph in an interview last month. He warned UK travellers not to plan summer trips to the US this year and said the travel ban may need to stay in place until a coronavirus vaccine is available. UK travellers hoping to visit other parts of Europe this year also face a variety of restrictions and quarantine measures.