Coronavirus digest: Fourth German city exceeds COVID-19 threshold

The southwestern city of Stuttgart has exceeded the rate of 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, reaching a warning level that prompted authorities to prepare for fresh restrictions.

City officials announced that the infection rate in the state capital of Baden-Württemberg on Saturday evening was 50.5 per 100,000 residents.

While private gatherings of more than 25 people are already banned in the city, the new measures will include restrictions on alcohol consumption, the mandatory wearing of masks, and limited opening hours for bars or restaurants. Authorities also encouraged people to work from home.

Stuttgart, a city of over 600,000 residents, reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

It is the latest German city to be marked as a coronavirus hotspot, after Cologne, Berlin, and Frankfurt where restrictions have already come into force.

Coronavirus cases in Germany continue to rise as cities grapple to impose new restrictions. The country recorded 4,721 new cases on Saturday, crossing the 4,000-mark for the third day in a row.

Europe

The Netherlands reported a record number of daily infections, hitting close to 6,500 cases on Saturday. The government said fresh restrictions will be imposed in the country if the number of cases and hospitalizations didn’t drop over the weekend.

The Netherlands is one of the worst-hit countries in Europe’s second wave of COVID-19.

Poland announced new measures to curb the spread of coronavirus after the country registered a record number of cases for the fifth consecutive day.

Authorities have asked people to wear face masks in all public places after the country hit a new record daily of over 5,300 infections. However, they did not mandate the distance learning for schools.

Ireland and Portugal saw a record daily rise in the number of cases since the start of the pandemic. While Ireland reported 1,012 new cases of COVID-19, Portugal confirmed 1,646 new infections.

Two anti-mask protests were held in Rome despite a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in Italy. The country’s health ministry reported 5,724 new cases and 29 more deaths on Saturday.

At one of the protest sites, demonstrators criticized the anti-coronavirus rules, such as a €1,000 ($1,183) fine for not wearing masks in public, as too harsh. Most of the new cases are in the north of the country.

Italy has reported a total of nearly 350,000 infections and more than 36,000 deaths so far.

Americas

US President Donald Trump made his first public appearance since returning to the White House from a three-day stay in hospital with the coronavirus amid fears that he may still be contagious.

Trump addressed hundreds of his supporters who had gathered in the White House South Lawn. In his 20-minute speech, during which he was not wearing a mask, he repeated his claim that the virus is “disappearing.”

Brazil has surpassed 150,000 deaths due to the coronavirus despite the slowing rate of infection in the country, the health ministry announced. Brazil’s death toll is second-highest in the world, after the United States.

The number of cases in Latin America and the Caribbean crossed the 10-million mark, and more than 360,000 deaths, making it the worst-hit the region in terms of fatalities.

Middle East

Iran has made wearing masks mandatory in all public spaces in Tehran, with violations punishable with fines. Masks have been mandatory in indoor public places since July. Iran, the country worst-hit by the pandemic in the region, is currently reeling under the third wave of coronavirus infections.

Tens of thousands of protesters in Israel defied lockdown restrictions in a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The country’s parliament last week cleared a law restricting rallies during a lockdown. As part of the law, people are restricted from traveling more than a kilometer from their homes.

Anti-government protests have been held every Saturday since July, calling for Netanyahu to resign over his handling of the pandemic and the economy.

Asia

Myanmar reported 2,158 new cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic. The country’s largest city, Yangon, has been placed under lockdown, and air and overland travel have been halted.

The Southeast Asian nation has reported a total of 26,064 cases so far, most of them since the second began in mid-August.

adi/shs (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

The post Coronavirus digest: Fourth German city exceeds COVID-19 threshold appeared first on Deutsche Welle.

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