Istanbul bans indoor weddings as coronavirus cases rise: Live

Weddings, engagement parties, other ceremonies banned as COVID-19 cases, deaths hit highest level in Turkey in months.

  • Istanbul has banned indoor weddings, engagement parties and other ceremonies from Monday as coronavirus cases and deaths hit the highest level in Turkey in more than two months.
  • Indonesia has reported its biggest rise in infections for a third successive day, while Ukraine and Myanmar have also registered a record daily rise in coronavirus cases.
  • Russia’s coronavirus cases have surpassed 980,000 after the country reported 4,829 new cases in the last 24 hours.
  • More than 24.8 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 16 million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 839,000 people have died.

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, August 29

19:05 GMT – Istanbul bans indoor weddings, other ceremonies

Authorities in Istanbul have announced bans on indoor weddings and other ceremonies in Turkey’s largest city as the number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths hit their highest level nationwide in more than two months.

From Monday indoor weddings, engagement parties and circumcision ceremonies will be banned, Istanbul’s governor’s office said.

Children and people aged over 60 will be barred from outdoor ceremonies which still go ahead, it said.

From Monday indoor weddings, engagement parties and circumcision ceremonies will be banned, Istanbul’s governor’s office has said [File: Yasin Akgul/AFP]

18:26 GMT – Berlin police arrest 300, disband protest

Berlin police have arrested 300 people in the German capital after demonstrators failed to keep their distance and wear masks as instructed.

Police reported pockets of unrest as around 38,000 protesters gathered for events across the city.

At a demonstration close to Brandenburg Gate, several thousand were still gathered by early evening, some throwing rocks and bottles.

Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel described the group as “extremist”. Seven police were injured.

17:38 GMT – India to reopen underground train networks even as cases jump

India will reopen underground train networks and allow sports and religious events in a limited manner from next month even as coronavirus cases jump.

The train network, a lifeline for millions in the capital city of New Delhi, will be reopened in a phased manner from September 7, the federal home ministry said.

Social, academic, sports and religious events will be permissible with a maximum of 100 people from September 21, it said.

17:30 GMT – New York nurses call for minimum staffing ratios

Nurses on the front lines of New York’s pandemic are calling for the state to enact minimum staffing standards in advance of another wave of infections.

Healthcare industry leaders, however, warn that passing such a law would saddle facilities with billions of dollars in extra costs they cannot afford.

Under legislation now before a legislative committee, the state would for the first time set minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, including a standard of one nurse for every two patients in intensive care units.

California now has such a law. Other states do not. Supporters say the legislation would boost the quality of care, reduce staff burnout and let the state hold health care facilities accountable for inadequate staffing.

17:15 – Turkey reports 1,549 more cases

In a tweet Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 1,549 new cases have been reported, raising the total to 267,064.

The death toll increased by 39 to 6,284, the minister said.

17:10 GMT – Detroit to honour 1,500 who died from coronavirus

Detroit, Michigan is seeking about 400 volunteers to assist with a memorial to honour residents who have died from the coronavirus.

A memorial drive at Belle Isle State Park is scheduled for Monday. Mayor Mike Duggan declared the day as Detroit Memorial Day to remember residents who did not have funerals due to the pandemic.

More than 1,500 Detroit residents have died from complications of the coronavirus.

15:55 GMT – French ministry ‘worried’ as it reports 5,453 new cases

France has reported 5,453 new coronavirus cases, and the health ministry has described the situation as “worrying” following a spike the previous day when the country registered its highest number of cases since mid-March.

On Friday 7,379 cases were recorded, its biggest daily figure reported since France imposed a lockdown at the height of the pandemic.

“In mainland France, the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic is exponential. The strong growth dynamics of transmission is very worrying,” the health ministry said on its website.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths rose to 30,602 from 30,596 reported on Friday, according to the health ministry.

15:20 GMT – UK records 1,108 new cases

The United Kingdom has reported 1,108 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, the government has said, down slightly from the figure recorded on Friday.

Another 12 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the disease, it added.

14:36 GMT – Myanmar records biggest daily rise in cases

Myanmar has recorded 77 new coronavirus cases, its biggest daily rise amid a recent resurgence of the virus after weeks without confirmed domestic transmission.

The health ministry did not immediately say where the 77 new cases were found. Most recent infections have been in Sittwe, the capital of the conflict-torn Rakhine state, where authorities have imposed a lockdown and curfew.

14:15 GMT – Berlin police break up rally for violating conditions

A rally attended by tens of thousands of people in Berlin against Germany’s coronavirus measures has been broken up due to violations of protective requirements, police have tweeted.

Protesters carried a wide range of grievances and banners stating their opposition to vaccinations, face masks and the German government in general.

Read more here.

Thousands of people protest against coronavirus-related restrictions and government policy in Berlin [Omer Messinger/Getty Images]

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Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Toronto, Canada taking over the live updates from my colleague Shereena Qazi in Doha, Qatar.

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11:44 GMT – Indonesia mine resumes operations after lockdown protest

Operations have resumed at the world’s biggest gold mine in Indonesia, the company that runs it said, after workers blocked access to the site in protest to being stopped from visiting their families over virus concerns.

Struggling designers find ways to help fight COVID in Indonesia

The miners at the Grasberg complex in the country’s easternmost Papua region reached an agreement with the US-based operator, Freeport, which said it would resume bus services for workers to return home.

This week more than 1,000 employees demonstrated at the mine’s main entrance over the decision to cancel bus services to the city of Timika in response to fears about the spread of coronavirus infections.

Many workers had been unable to leave the site – a high-altitude open pit that is also a major copper mine – for six months.

Several buses departed from the mine late on Friday, carrying some workers who had been granted a leave of absence, said local company spokesman Kerry Yarangga.

10:08 GMT – Azerbaijan extends some coronavirus restrictions

Azerbaijan has extended some coronavirus lockdown restrictions, including the closure of its borders, until September 31 after a further rise in the number of infections, the government said.

Azerbaijan, which saw a daily increase of coronavirus cases of between 130 and 180 in the past several weeks, will reopen museums and exhibition halls from September 1, the government said.

But shopping malls will remain closed and public transport will be limited while the ban on travelling between the regions remains in place, the government said.

Azerbaijan introduced measures to stem the coronavirus on March 24 and has extended them several times.

The South Caucasus country of about 10 million people had registered 35,986 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 527 deaths as of Saturday.

09:35 GMT – German court allows Berlin protests against coronavirus curbs

A German regional court gave the go-ahead for mass demonstrations planned in Berlin against coronavirus curbs, ruling against the capital’s ban on such protests.

Police, who deployed 3,000 officers to control crowds expected to reach 20,000, have prepared for possible violence as activists opposed to the virus measures urge social media followers across Europe to arm themselves and gather in Berlin.

A police officer stands in front of protesters as they march against coronavirus-related restrictions and government policy on August 29 [Omer Messinger/Getty]

Until now Germany has managed the coronavirus crisis better than many of its European counterparts, with rigorous testing helping to hold down infections and deaths.

But new daily infections have accelerated in recent weeks, as in much of the world.

09:10 GMT – Indonesia reports record new coronavirus cases for third day

Indonesia reported its biggest rise in new coronavirus infections for a third successive day, the health ministry website showed.

Saturday’s 3,308 cases take Indonesia’s tally of infections to 169,195, while 92 new deaths carried its toll to 7,261, data on the website showed.

09:05 GMT – 107th Tour de France begins in Nice in restricted form

The 107th Tour de France begins in Nice, but even the stunning backdrop of the Cote d’Azur in southern France cannot mask the fact that this is a competition that has been changed markedly by the pandemic.

After a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in France, restrictions were intensified once again.

Riders line up before the start [Stephane Mahe/Reuters]

Only an extremely limited number of spectators will be able to see the race, with the Cote d’Azur region now a designated “red zone” – a virus hot spot.

Initially 5,000 spectators were to have been allowed to watch. Now only a few dozen have the honour of taking in the start and end of the first stage. 

08:20 GMT – Ukraine reports record daily rise in coronavirus cases

Ukraine registered a record 2,481 cases of the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, officials said on Saturday, up from 2,438 the previous day.

Europe: Several nations tighten measures as COVID-19 cases rise

The increase comes after Ukraine this week imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners from entering the country until September 28 and extended lockdown measures until the end of October to contain a recent spike in cases.

The country has so far reported a total of 116,987 infections and 2,492 deaths from the virus.

08:15 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus death toll exceeds 17,000

Russia said 111 people had died from the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, raising the official death toll to 17,025.

Russia’s coronavirus taskforce reported 4,941 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally to 985,346, the fourth largest caseload in the world.

08:10 GMT – Namibia opens airports and schools but extends overnight curfew

Namibia will lift lockdown restrictions, allowing international travel, schools to reopen and onsite alcohol consumption from September, President Hage Geingob announced, but he extended an overnight curfew as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

The southern African country of two million now has 6,906 confirmed COVID-19 cases and the disease is not yet contained — of its 65 deaths, 55 were in August alone.

But as with other southern African nations, leaders are weighing the impact of the virus against the huge economic and social damage done by lockdowns.

07:50 GMT – India records another surge in daily coronavirus cases

India reported 76,472 new coronavirus cases, slightly lower than the record-breaking numbers of the past couple of days, but extending a run that has made the country’s outbreak currently the world’s worst.

India has reported a total of 3.46 million cases during the pandemic, a tally that places it behind the United States and Brazil in terms of total caseload.

However, the South Asian country has reported higher single-day case rises than both those countries for almost two weeks.

A community health volunteer checks the temperature of a girl during a check-up campaign for the coronavirus at a slum in Mumbai [Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters]

India’s death toll rose by 1,021 to 62,550, data from the federal health ministry showed, even as local media reported that some nationwide restrictions on travel could be eased from next week.

The western Indian state of Maharashtra, home to India’s financial capital Mumbai, recorded 331 fatalities, the steepest single-day increase among all states over the past two days.

06:50 GMT – Mexico records 5,824 new coronavirus cases

Mexico’s health ministry reported 5,824 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 552 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 585,738 cases and 63,146 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

05:50 GMT – Malaysia extends ban on foreign tourists

Malaysia has extended its pandemic movement restrictions including a ban on foreign tourists until the end of the year.

UN: COVID-19 ‘grave threat’ to the world’s Indigenous people

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address that global cases have been rising and the country has seen sporadic virus clusters even though the situation was under control.

Malaysia has recorded more than 9,000 cases with 125 deaths. 

04:27 GMT – Australia’s Victoria posts lowest case rise in two months

Australia’s Victoria state recorded its lowest rise in new coronavirus cases in almost two months, but authorities warned there would be no rush to lift social distancing restrictions.

State officials on Saturday reported 94 new COVID-19 infections and 18 deaths. It was the first time new daily case numbers have fallen below 100 in eight weeks, and continues a steady trajectory downward this week.

“Every day we see the strategy working is a good day but we just need a bit more time to be able to be confident that we are, in fact, defeating this and that we can open up, gradually, steadily, safely,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said at a televised news briefing.

03:52 GMT – German court gives go-ahead for protest against coronavirus curbs

A court in the German capital, Berlin, upheld an earlier decision giving the go-ahead for weekend demonstrations against coronavirus restrictions, in response to an appeal by police.

The decision is final.

Authorities had announced the ban earlier this week after an event by the same organisers at the start of the month was broken up because the participants – numbering tens of thousands – were not wearing masks or keeping the required distance from one another.

03:11 GMT – Argentina reports record cases but relaxes lockdown

Argentina logged 11,717 new coronavirus cases on Friday, its highest daily jump, but the government moved ahead with its plans to ease nationwide lockdown measures.

“Today we can take a new step by authorising meetings of up to 10 people in the open air, maintaining the distance of two metres and the use of a mask. This will be in force throughout the country,” President Alberto Fernandez said in a televised address.

Restrictions related to the pandemic in the country started on March 20. The new, more relaxed rules are scheduled to last until at least September 20.

Argentina rushes to produce COVID-19 vaccine (2:40)

02:40 GMT – Colombia football league to restart in September

Colombia’s top football league will restart play in September, sports minister Ernesto Lucena said on Friday, though games will take place without spectators.

The league was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today the good news for Colombia is that the third week of September at the latest we’ll have football,” Lucena said during President Ivan Duque’s nightly TV broadcast. “It will be closed door – we’ve said that from the beginning – there will not be capacity for the public.”

01:33 GMT – Researchers identify first case of reinfection in US

Researchers in Nevada reported what may be the first documented case of coronavirus reinfection in the United States, following similar reports earlier this week from Hong Kong and Europe.

A 25-year-old Reno man with mild COVID-19 symptoms initially was found to have the virus in April, recovered and tested negative twice, and then tested positive again in June. He was much sicker the second time, with pneumonia that required hospitalisation and oxygen treatment.

The findings have not yet been published or reviewed by other scientists, but were posted on a research site.

Obese people more likely to die from COVID-19: Study (3:48)

Scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory said they were able to show through sophisticated genetic testing that the virus associated with each instance of the Reno man’s infection represented genetically different strains.

The case “should cement in our minds that there’s no such thing … as invulnerability” to the virus, even if you’ve already had it, said Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory.

“One can get sick again and that illness can be quite severe.”

01:05 GMT – Most US states reject Trump administration’s new testing guidance

A majority of states in the United States have rejected new guidance on COVID-19 testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Reuters news agency reported, in a move public health experts said showed deepening distrust of the handling of the pandemic by the administration of US President Donald Trump. 

At least 33 states continue to recommend testing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and have no symptoms, spurning guidance published by the CDC this week that said testing may be unnecessary.

Reuters said 16 states did not immediately respond to requests for comment and North Dakota said it had not made a decision.

Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, told the agency: “This is states almost all-out rebelling against the new guidelines.”

00:49 GMT – Rio de Janeiro governor suspended over alleged COVID-19 corruption

A Brazilian court temporarily removed Wilson Witzel, the governor of Rio de Janeiro, from office over alleged corruption in the purchase of medical supplies and services.

In a statement to reporters, the governor called his 180-day suspension by a federal body a politically-motivated “circus” led by a public prosecutor with ties to President Jair Bolsonaro’s family, and based on false testimony by his former health secretary.

In conjunction with the court decision, federal police arrested nine people and carried out 83 raids on associates of Witzel on Friday as part of their investigation, prosecutors said.

Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel gestures as he speaks to the media at Laranjeiras Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [Pilar Olivares/ Reuters]

00:10 – Canada extends ban on most foreign travellers

Canada is extending restrictions on travellers arriving in the country for another month to help combat the spread of COVID-19, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced on Twitter.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents returning from abroad will continue to be subject to strict quarantine measures, he added.

Arrivals in Canada are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives. 

For all the key developments from yesterday, August 28, go here.

Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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