COVID-19: Starbucks GZ Employee Suspected; 14-Days Visitors to..

Source: People's Daily, Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily, Global Times, CBS, iFeng, Baidu, Global  News Agencies, Majdi


Starbucks GZ Store Employee Suspected; all People Entering Store to Undergo Nucleic Acid Test 

A staff member at a Starbucks store in Good World Plaza in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province was diagnosed as a suspected COVID19 case on Sat. Local health authority asked all people entering the Starbucks within the past 14 days to take free nucleic acid test at designated place; those who don't take the nucleic acid test within the required time and place will be charged the test fees. 

New wave of infections threatens to collapse Japan's hospitals

Hospitals in Japan are increasingly turning away sick people as the country struggles with surging coronavirus infections and its emergency medical system collapses.

In one recent case, an ambulance carrying a man with a fever and difficulty breathing was rejected by 80 hospitals and forced to search for hours for a hospital in downtown Tokyo that would treat him. Another feverish man finally reached a hospital after paramedics unsuccessfully contacted 40 clinics.

Japan initially seemed to have controlled the outbreak by going after clusters of infections in specific places, usually enclosed spaces such as clubs, gyms and meeting venues. But the spread of virus outpaced this approach and most new cases are untraceable.

The outbreak has highlighted underlying weaknesses in medical care in Japan, which has long been praised for its high quality insurance system and reasonable costs.

Apart from a general unwillingness to embrace social distancing, experts fault government incompetence and a widespread shortage of the protective gear and equipment medical workers need to do their jobs.

A Rush of Local News

The Chinese mainland reported 12 more COVID-19 cases on Sunday, eight of which were imported from abroad while four are domestic cases, according to the National Health Commission. It also reported 49 new asymptomatic patients. 

No new deaths were reported on the same day. 

Beijing has identified 8 categories of people who are required to take COVID-19 nucleic acid test: 

  • COVID-19 cases&contacts

  • Fever clinic outpatients

  • Patients with respiratory symptoms  

  • Overseas arrivals 

  • People from Wuhan who are about to end quarantine

  • Govt officials returning to Beijing from business trips 

  • Travelers to stay at hotels

  • Graduating students & teachers returning to Beijing for school resumption   

Hubei, the Chinese province hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will hold this year's national college entrance exam, or Gaokao, on July 7 and 8, according to authorities. Senior high school students who are expected to graduate this year in Hubei are set to return to classes on May 6.

Beijing has reopened 73 major tourist sites, or 30.7 percent of the total in the municipality. The tourist sites that resume operation should receive no more than 30 percent of the maximum real-time number of visitors, and no more than 30 percent of the daily visitor capacity. tests for eight groups of people.

China Sending Aid Worldwide: 

Ecuador, Argentina, Soctland, The Philippines, Sri Lanka. 

A Rush of News

A top government official in Guinea has died from the new coronavirus. Sekou Kourouma, who was secretary-general of the government and a former minister, was taken ill last week and died in Conakry on Saturday.

The U.N. Secretary General told all U.N. staff members in a letter this week that "the current telecommuting arrangements at United Nations Headquarters shall be extended through May 31, 2020."

Dubai's Arabian Travel Market, one of the Middle East's biggest travel and tourism fairs, has been cancelled, organisers said. The exhibition was in March rescheduled to June 28 to July 1 at Dubai's World Trade Centre from its original dates of April 19 to 22.

Tunisia is extending a lockdown to May 4, after which it will ease restrictions gradually on some economic activities, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said.

Honduras extended a curfew through April 26. 

Croatia will partially scrap the travel ban within the country on Sunday at midnight (22:00 GMT), Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Nova TV. From Monday, people will be able to travel freely within their districts, he said. Croatia is split into 20 districts.

India's aviation regulator told airlines not to take bookings as the government has not yet decided when to recommence flights after a lockdown scheduled to end on May 3.

Hard-Hit Countries/Regions Official Announcements

Note: The news under this section are according to official reports in these countries; the numbers might not necessarily correspond to the data in the Global table, at the top of this article, which is calculated based on Beijing 24 hours time zone at around 10:00 AM. 

Spains death toll increases by lowest number in a month

New deaths increased by 410 on Sunday, the lowest rise in deaths in around a month. The daily death increase on Saturday was 565, and the total has reached 20,453, according to the Spansh. Sundays daily increase in deaths is the lowest since March 22. The peak in daily deaths thus far was 950 fatalities on April 2. The countrys health ministry also reported an increase in cases to 195,944 from 191,726 on Saturday.

Russia added another 6,060 new cases on Sunday its highest daily rise yet, according to the Russian coronavirus crisis response center. The countrys total cases have reached 42,853 in a month thats seen cases spike compared to previous months.

Singapores ministry of health reported 596 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking its total cases to 6,588. The majority of the new cases come from labor camps housing migrant workers, as well as 25 permanent residents, the ministry said.

Germany added another 2,458 new cases which brought its total number of infections to 139,897, the latest data from the countrys public health institute showed on Sunday. That's much lower than the 3,609 infections announced on Saturday and 3,380 announced on Friday. The death toll stands at 4,294 after 184 more people died.

Dutch report lowest daily corona death rate in over 3 weeks

The number of deaths has risen by 83, Dutch health authorities said, which was the smallest reported daily increase since March 26, bringing the total to 3,684, while the number of confirmed infections rose by 1,066 to 32,655.

The UK reported 5,850 new cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 120,067,  data from the Department of Health and Social Care showed on Sunday. Another 596 people died in hospitals in as of Saturday afternoon, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 16,060.

Italy said that deaths rose by 433, the lowest daily tally in a week, and the number of new cases slowed to 3,047 from a previous 3,491. The death toll as reported by Italy's Civil Protection Agency had risen by 482 on Saturday, down from 575 on Friday.

Canada: The total number of deaths rose by just under 12 percent to 1,506 in a day, according to official data posted by the public health agency. In a statement posted shortly before 15:00 GMT, it said the number of people diagnosed with the coronavirus climbed to 33,922. The respective figures on Saturday were 1,346 deaths and 32,412 positive diagnoses.

Iran reported 87 more coronavirus-related fatalities on Sunday, bringing the nationwide total to 5,118 deaths, according to the Iranian Health Ministry. Over the past 24 hours, 1,343 new cases have tested positive in the country, which brings the total number of reported infections in Iran to 82,211.

Saudi Top Religious Authority Urges Muslims Worldwide to Pray at Home in Ramadan

Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, urged Muslims worldwide to pray at home during Ramadan if their countries require social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported.

The holy fasting month of Ramadan begins later this week. During the month, believers usually break their fast with families and friends and perform an evening prayer, known as Taraweeh, in large gatherings at mosques.

"Muslims shall avoid gatherings, because they are the main cause of the spread of infection ... and shall remember that preserving the lives of people is a great act that brings them closer to God," it said in a statement.

Crowds flock to Jacksonville beaches

Crowds are seen at the beach on April 17, 2020 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, despite social distancing warnings. SAM GREENWOOD / GETTY IMAGES

Despite the US state of Florida hitting a record number of coronavirus cases; Mayor, Lenny Curry, reopened beaches and parks in Jacksonville on Friday, after Governor gave the green light to reopen. When they opened at 5 p.m., crowds flooded the area, ignoring social distancing warnings. 

Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach are now open from 6-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. for "essential activities." They are closed during all other times.


More than 25,000 people in Florida have been infected with COVID-19, and schools, business and public events are all closed or canceled to try to slow its spread, according to the state Department of Health. 

S. Korea Relaxes Social Distancing Rules As Cases Fall 

South Korean Christians practice social distancing while attending a drive-in worship service following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Seoul, South Korea, April 5, 2020. /Reuters

South Korea extended its social distancing policy for another 16 days on Sunday but offered some relief for churches and sporting fixtures, as it reported just eight new coronavirus infections, the lowest in two months.

The slightly relaxed guidelines mean high-risk facilities like churches will no longer have to close, while sports matches such as soccer can resume without an audience.

"It is safest to maintain the intensive social distancing, but it isn't easy realistically. We need to find a middle ground," Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun told a televised meeting of government officials.


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