China tames new outbreak but elsewhere COVID-19 cases surge

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 08:09 IST | Agencies | Beijing

One dies in Australia - the country's first death death in a month; in South Africa, scientists warn the worst is yet to come for the nation where infections and deaths doubled in the past fortnight

Relatives carry the coffin of an alleged victim of the COVID-19 in Tegucigalpa, Brazil. Pic/AFP
Relatives carry the coffin of an alleged victim of the COVID-19 in Tegucigalpa, Brazil. Pic/AFP

China appears to have tamed a new outbreak of the coronavirus in Beijing, once again demonstrating its ability to quickly mobilise vast resources by testing nearly 2.5 million people in 11 days.

But, elsewhere in the world, cases were surging on Wednesday. Mexico, where testing rates have been low, also set a record with over 6,200 new cases, and reported 800 new deaths. In the US, increases over the past few days have jumped to near the level of the outbreak's previous peak in April. Several states have set single-day records, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada and Texas.

In China, an outbreak that has infected more than 200 people in the capital this month appeared to be firmly waning. China on Wednesday reported 12 cases, down from 22 the day before. Beijing reported seven new cases, down from 13. Officials in Beijing said they tested more than 2.4 million people between June 12 and June 22. That's more than 10% of the capital's population of about 20 million.

In South Korea, which successfully tamed its first wave of infections, is seeing another rise. While the first outbreak was centered in its fourth-largest city, the current outbreak is centered in the Seoul region, where most South Koreans live. Authorities reported 51 cases on Wednesday.

Worldwide, more than 9.2 million people have contracted the virus, including more than 4,77,000 who have died. Australia has recorded its first death from COVID-19 in a month, increasing the toll to 103. Authorities in Victoria say a man in his 80s died overnight, lifting the state's total to 20.

The worst of the pandemic is yet to come in South Africa, warned top epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim as the country's tally crossed the 1 lakh-mark and death toll neared 2,000. The cases and deaths have doubled in the past fortnight after lockdown curbs were eased recently."

2.5mn
Approx no. of Beijing residents tested for COVID-19 in 10 days

'Heart disease, high BP linked to relapse'

Coexisting medical conditions like heart disease and hypertension may lead to fully recovered COVID-19 patients testing positive for the viral infection again, according to a study which says most such patients with re-positive outcomes "tended to return negative eventually." Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China assessed data on 938 COVID-19 patients from the country's Wuhan Union Hospital. "Among patients over the age of 50, the factors we found to be associated with re-positive results were coronary artery disease, and hypertension," the scientists stated in a study, which is yet to be published.

Brazil court orders prez to wear mask

A Brazilian federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Jair Bolsonaro, who has attended protests and visted bakeries without mask, to wear one whenever he is outdoors. The judge said that Bolsonaro "has exposed other people to the contagion that has caused national commotion."

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