Equities and oil prices fall in Asia after new virus cases surge in China and many parts of the US.
China has turned to mass testing and district lockdowns in Beijing after a jump in cases connected with a wholesale food market in the capital.
More than 7.9 million people are confirmed to have the coronavirus around the world. Nearly 3.8 million have recovered, while at least 433,394 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
The United Arab Emirates announced that citizens and residents are allowed to travel to specific destinations as of June 23, state news agency (WAM) reported.
A list of the destinations, the groups authorised to travel, and the procedures that must be adhered to before, during, and after returning from travel for citizens and residents will be announced later, WAM reported.
The head of the World Health Organization says more than 100,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide each day over the past two weeks – mostly in the Americas and South Asia – and countries that have curbed transmissions “must stay alert to the possibility of resurgence”.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted a new cluster of cases in Beijing, which went more than 50 days without a new case of COVID-19, and said the origin of that new series of cases is under investigation.
Tedros noted that it took over two months to reach 100,000 reported cases – now that is a daily norm. Nearly three-quarters of each day’s new cases come from 10 countries, mostly in South Asia and the Americas, he said.
The organisers of the Oscars shifted the date of the 2021 movie awards ceremony to April from February because of the coronavirus.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the Oscars, the highest honours in the film industry, would take place on April 25, 2021. It was originally scheduled for February 28. The pandemic shut down movie theaters worldwide in mid-March and brought production of films to a halt.
Chile’s government said it would extend a state of catastrophe in place since mid-March by 90 days as cases of coronavirus in the South American nation have surged.
The pace of new infections has increased dramatically in May and June, averaging over 5,000 daily in recent weeks. The onslaught has filled critical care wards and prompted authorities to declare a full lockdown in the capital Santiago, a city of more than six million.
The state of catastrophe, extended by presidential decree, gives the government extraordinary powers to restrict freedom of movement and assure food supply and basic services. Quarantine measures are routinely enforced by soldiers in Santiago.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said partial restrictions would remain in place in the capital Manila for another two weeks because the threat from the coronavirus was still present.
But Duterte reinstated strict lockdown rules in Cebu City, the country’s fifth most populous city, following an increase in new infections there.
“The battle against COVID-19 is not yet over,” Duterte said in an address.
Restrictions were further eased in provinces and cities with low cases of the virus to help restore business activity in the Southeast Asian economy, which is expected to shrink for the first time in more than two decades this year.
Abu Dhabi has extended a ban on movement in and out of the emirate and between its major cities by a week to further curb coronavirus infections, state news agency (WAM) reported.
The week-long ban on movement between the cities of al-Ain, al-Dhafra and Abu Dhabi applies as of Tuesday to all residents and nationals of the emirate, the largest and wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation.
This is the second time the ban has been extended since it was imposed on June 2.
Abu Dhabi residents will be allowed to move within their cities, excluding the national daily curefew hours, between 10pm to 6am local time.
— MOIUAE (@moiuae) June 15, 2020
More than 100 cases of the coronavirus have been officially recorded in the fresh outbreak in Beijing, the World Health Organization said.
The UN health agency said it understood no new deaths have been reported thus far in the Chinese capital but added that given Beijing’s size and connectivity, the outbreak was a cause for concern.
“Even in countries that have demonstrated the ability to suppress transmission, countries must stay alert to the possibility of resurgence,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.
“Last week, China reported a new cluster of cases in Beijing, after more than 50 days without a case in that city. More than 100 cases have now been confirmed.
“The origin and extent of the outbreak are being investigated.”
Spain is ‘very likely’ to join four other European governments in a deal to buy COVID-19 vaccine from British drugmaker AstraZeneca, Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon said.
The pharmaceutical group agreed on Saturday to supply 400 million doses of its vaccine, which is still under development, to the governments of France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
Speaking at a news conference, Simon said Spain may also join with other countries pursuing different vaccines.
Gravediggers and crematorium workers in Mexico are struggling to keep up the pace as the country registers escalating coronavirus death numbers while gradually easing some restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Workers at the San Lorenzo Tezonco municipal cemetery on Mexico City’s east said in interviews with The Associated Press news agency they have buried more bodies in the past weeks than they have ever seen before.
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Gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted in parts of New York that have entered the third phase of the state’s reopening plan, up from a previous limit of 10, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
He said the state’s continuing decline in the rate of positive tests and in hospitalisations supported the move.
Cuomo urged local governments to keep on top of enforcing social distancing rules and criticised images of people crowding the streets outside bars in New York City over the weekend.
“We have months of data now that the guidelines makes sense: keep following them,” Cuomo said at a news conference of the Mario Cuomo Bridge in Westchester, where he was opening a new pedestrian crossing. “To the local governments I say, ‘Do your job.’
The origins of a new cluster of coronavirus infections in Beijing are not certain, World Health Organization officials said, describing as a “hypothesis” the claim that it might have been caused by imports or packaging of salmon.
State-run newspapers reported that the virus was discovered on chopping boards used for imported salmon at Beijing’s Xinfadi market amid worries about a second wave of the pandemic in China.
Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said in a briefing that he would be “reticent” to say that packaging needs to be tested for the virus as a result of the new infections.
German vaccine maker CureVac plans to raise funds by selling stock in an initial public offering in the United States next month, a finance ministry document seen by Reuters showed.
The German government plans to take a stake of about 23 percent in unlisted CureVac to fund the biotech company’s further development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The finance ministry said in a letter to parliament’s budget committee, “It [CureVac] currently has a big capital requirement and plans a flotation on the Nasdaq in New Yor in July 2020.”
The US Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorisation for malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, the use of which has been championed by US President Donald Trump.
The FDA said based on new evidence, it was no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine may be effective in treating COVID-19.
The British embassy in Spain confirmed that British citizens will be allowed to travel to the Iberian country when it opens its borders next Sunday, but still advised against any non-essential international travel due to the coronavirus.
Spain will reopen its borders to most European visitors from June 21, 10 days earlier than previously planned, a Spanish Foreign Ministry source told Reuters News Agency on Sunday.
“The Spanish government has confirmed to us that the UK is included within the group of countries to whom these border relaxations will apply,” the embassy said via a Twitter account it uses to inform British citizens in Spain.
Nevertheless, it added that the government still advises against all but essential international travel.
You may have seen the announcement this weekend that 🇪🇸 will open its borders with some countries from 21 June. The Spanish government has confirmed to us that the 🇬🇧 is included within the group of countries to whom these border relaxations will apply.
— BritslivinginSpain (@BritsliveSpain) June 15, 2020
Many European countries have started easing coronavirus-related travel restrictions, with June 15 seeing several of them open up to visitors from certain countries.
Each country is following its own timetable. Here are the details of the current travel policies.
North Macedonia’s main political parties agreed to reschedule coronavirus-delayed elections for July 15 after weeks of wrangling over the new date as the country battles a second wave of infections.
The Balkan state has been weathering the pandemic in the hands of a limited caretaker cabinet whose mandate was supposed to expire in April when a snap poll was initially scheduled to take place.
Since that election was put on hold due to the virus, the country’s major parties have been locked in a battle over how to proceed.
After reining in a small outbreak in late April, the country is now facing a steeper surge of infections, logging more than 4,000 cases and nearly 200 deaths among the population of less than two million.
Nigeria’s police chief said the country had seen a sharp increase in cases of rape and domestic abuse of women during coronavirus lockdowns.
“It has come to the public knowledge now that because of the COVID-19 restrictions, we have a surge in cases of rape and gender-based violence,” Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu told reporters in the capital Abuja.
“From January-May 2020, we have recorded about 717 rape incidents that were reported across the country”, he said, adding that 799 suspects have been arrested.
Singapore will allow most businesses to reopen on Friday as the hard-hit city-state further eases its coronavirus restrictions.
But potential “super-spreader” venues such as cinemas, bars and nightclubs will stay closed despite infection rates remaining stable for the past two weeks, officials said.
From Friday the “vast majority” of businesses can resume operations as long as safe distancing rules are in place, said Lawrence Wong, a cabinet minister who is a key figure in Singapore’s fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Social gatherings of up to five people will also be allowed from Friday, but individuals should stay one metre (three feet) apart from each other.
Sweden will extend its ban on visits to elderly care homes to August 31, Health Minister Lena Hallengren said.
“This is one of many tough measures that needs to remain in place,” Hallengren told reporters at a news conference.
More than 4,800 people have died in Sweden after being infected with the coronavirus, the vast majority of them over 70 years old and of those, many were resident in elderly care homes.
The ban on visits was put in place on March 30.
Pakistan suffered its worst week of the COVID-19 outbreak so far.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) June 15, 2020
A lockdown will be reimposed Friday on some 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and several neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region.
“Full Lockdown from 19th for Chennai, Thiruvallur, Chengalpet & Kanchipuram districts,” the Tamil Nadu state government tweeted.
It will be in place until the end of June.
Tamil Nadu, where Chennai is the capital, is the second-worst hit state after Maharashtra. The southern state has recorded just over 44,000 cases out of a nationwide total of 332,424, according to official figures.
Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Shereena Qazi.
The UK’s government hopes to complete a review into whether the country should stick to a social distancing measure of keeping people two metres (six feet) apart in the coming weeks, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
The review into the two-metre rule comes after some businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, complained they could not return profits if customers had to stand far apart, citing other countries where the distances are smaller.
“It will be completed in the coming weeks,” the spokesman told reporters, adding that the review would be chaired by Simon Case, permanent secretary at Number 10, and would report to Johnson.
Singapore will allow small gatherings and the reopening of restaurants and shops from June 19, its health ministry has said.
Social gatherings of up to five people will be permitted from Friday, when the majority of activities resume after more than two months of restrictions. Social distancing requirements will remain in place.
Tiny Singapore has one of the highest infection tallies in Asia, with more than 40,000 cases, because of mass outbreaks in dormitories for its migrant workers.
Finland is withdrawing the emergency powers act that Parliament adopted in March to tackle the coronavirus as the infection rate has slowed and exceptional measures are no longer needed, the prime minister said.
Sanna Marin said there were no longer legal grounds for the government to keep the emergency legislation and the state of emergency would end at midnight on Monday.
There were 26 hospitalised COVID-19 patients and only one person in intensive care on Monday across Finland, the government said, adding there had been around 15 to 25 new cases a day for several weeks, totalling at 7,104 on Sunday.
UN agencies have warned the coronavirus pandemic could lead to the deaths of an additional 51,000 under-fives in the Middle East and North Africa by the end of the year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, said the disruption of essential health and nutrition services risked “reversing progress (on) child survival in the region by nearly two decades”.
Such a number of extra deaths would represent an increase of almost 40 percent more than pre-COVID-19 figures, they said in a joint statement issued in Amman.
Norway will halt its COVID-19 track and trace app and delete all data collected so far after criticism from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said.
The app was introduced by some Norwegian authorities to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.
The data protection watchdog said on Friday that considering the low spread of the infection, among other issues, collecting data through the app could no longer be seen as reasonable amid privacy concerns.
Pakistan saw an exponential rise in cases of the coronavirus last week, with the country’s planning minister predicting that the South Asian nation could see more than 1.2 million cases by the end of July if citizens do not abide by the government’s advice on social distancing and hygiene.
Last week, Pakistan saw cases of the coronavirus rise by 39 percent, from 103,671 to 144,478, according to government data.
Deaths rose by 31.4 percent, to 2,787.
The crowded daily commute in London has long been a source of misery for millions. But getting to work will be even more of a challenge following the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
Capacity on the transport network in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs has been reduced by 85 percent to comply with social-distancing rules, protecting commuters by preventing them from cramming into trains, the London Underground and buses.
Read more here
Global markets started the week on the back foot while oil prices slipped as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in China and a surge in cases in the United States sent investors scurrying for safe-haven assets such as gold.
The pan-European STOXX 600 fell 2.5 percent with all sectors and regional markets trading deep in the red after losses accelerated in the final hours of trading in Asia.
Read more here
Tajikistan has announced the first easing of restrictions, as it allowed malls, bazaars, restaurants, hotels and other service providers to reopen after a two-month shutdown.
State borders will remain closed, the government said in a statement, and so will mosques and mass transit facilities such as railways.
The Central Asian nation bordering China has confirmed 5,035 COVID-19 cases with 50 related deaths.
Three weeks after declaring it was free of the coronavirus, Montenegro has reported a new COVID-19 case – a person who arrived from neighbouring Bosnia
It was the first new infection reported in the tiny Balkan country since May 5.
The Institute for Public Health, which is tasked with combating the new coronavirus, said the infected patient was in self-isolation in the Balkan country’s capital, Podgorica.
Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic of 620,000 people whose economy relies heavily on tourism revenues, has so far reported 325 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus and nine deaths.
Prime Minister Dusko Markovic declared Montenegro coronavirus-free on May 25.
India’s home minister has offered 500 railway carriages for use as makeshift coronavirus hospital wards as the capital New Delhi struggles to contain a rise in cases.
New Delhi has about 9,000 beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients among public and private hospitals, but a state government panel of experts has said the city will need at least 15,000 beds by the end of June.
India’s health ministry reported a jump of more than 11,000 new coronavirus infections nationwide for a third consecutive day, taking the total caseload to more than 332,000, including 9,520 deaths.
Greece has reopened its main airports to more international flights, hoping to kick-start its vital tourism sector after three months under lockdown.
Tourism employs about 700,000 people and accounts for some 20 percent of Greece’s economic output, so how the sector fares is significant for the country’s recovery. Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis two years ago.
Passengers arriving from airports deemed high-risk by the European Union’s aviation safety agency will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined for up to 14 days, depending on the test result.
Restrictions remain for passengers from the UK and Turkey. Arrivals from other airports will be randomly tested.
A charity tennis event organised by men’s top-ranked player Novak Djokovic that drew big crowds over the weekend has sparked criticism for its lack of safety precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Thousands of fans were seated closely inside the stadium and without face masks as top players were seen exchanging high fives and hugs on court in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
Read more here.
At least 55 journalists have either faced arrests, physical assaults, alleged destruction of properties or threats for reporting on the coronavirus crisis during India’s lockdown from March 25 to May 31, the Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG) has said in a report.
“India has become the riskiest place for journalists in the world,” said the report. It said the Indian state and political activists alleged that journalists acted “prejudicial to maintenance of harmony” and “the national integrity, sovereignty and security of India”
The RRAG said the highest number of attacks on media persons was reported from Uttar Pradesh state (11 journalists), followed by Jammu and Kashmir (6) and Himachal Pradesh (5).
A number of countries have been updating their data.
Thailand has reported no new cases or deaths, and its 21st day without local transmission. All recent cases have been found in Thai people returning from overseas.
In Europe, the Czech Republic says total cases have now risen above 10,000. Germany, meanwhile, has reported 192 new cases bringing its total to 186,461. It also reported four more deaths.
Shops in the UK are set to reopen on Monday after being forced to remain closed for 83 days because of the coronavirus.
They will have to abide by social distancing rules that will limit the number of customers and make it more difficult for people to try on clothes, test furniture and browse books.
From tomorrow, 15 June, all our Clothing & Home stores in England and Northern Ireland will be open. We look forward to welcoming you back, with some new measures in place to keep you well. Read more about how you can shop with confidence here: https://t.co/zIR8zTQ3kC pic.twitter.com/VuFqPJQoTO
— M&S (@marksandspencer) June 14, 2020
Shops in Scotland and Wales are still waiting to find out when they can resume trading. Only supermarkets and other “essential” retailers were allowed to operate during the coronavirus lockdown.
Thank you from our Selfridges family. Discover personal notes of thanks from team members, displayed across our windows. From kind strangers, NHS workers & delivery drivers, our team has expressed their gratitude ahead of reopening on 15.06.20 https://t.co/ANKRHvmwIo pic.twitter.com/dOzG3aKCiw
— Selfridges (@Selfridges) June 11, 2020
The Peruvian peasant brigades who once battled leftist rebel groups are now being deployed against people breaking coronavirus quarantines, according to the Reuters News Agency.
The community brigades were created in the 1970s in northern highland areas.
Aladino Fernandez, the president of a group in the region of Cajamarca, told the news agency rule-breakers risked being caned.
“A serious crime would be about 15 lashes,” he said.
Peru has the second-highest number of cases in South America after Brazil.
Disneyland in Hong Kong has announced it will reopen on June 18, nearly six months after it closed in late January.
The theme park, including its shops and restaurants, will open with “controlled capacity” and social distancing will be enforced.
The Disneyland in Shanghai reopened last month.
State broadcaster CGTN has more on the areas of Beijing that have been locked down. It seems they are in the northwest of the city, around a market where some staff were diagnosed with coronavirus.
Ten communities around Yuquandong market in Beijing's Haidian District were shut down after some market staffers tested positive for #coronavirus, with all of them having links to Xinfadi wholesale market that is at the center of new cases, local official told a briefing Monday. pic.twitter.com/EwrAbkQLUd
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) June 15, 2020
Another 10 neighbourhoods in Beijing have been sealed off as part of the city’s attempt to deal with a sudden spike of cases linked to a wholesale food market, according to AFP news agency.
South Korea has reported new cases below 40 for the second day in a row, according to Yonhap news agency, but is concerned about cluster infections and untraceable cases in the Seoul metropolitan area.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 new cases on Monday, 24 of them local infections and all but two of those in the Seoul area.
The new cases are clustered around a door-to-door business group, small churches and a table tennis centre.
But the number of cases where the origin is unknown is also growing, according to the KCDC, up 1.8 percentage points to 9.2 percent of cases over the first two weeks of June.
Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi says the government has made no decision to ease the entry ban imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus after local media reported it might lift it for people from certain countries.
Motegi told parliament the government was looking at ways to ease the ban and would do so in stages if it decided to do so.
China’s vice premier Sun Chunlan is calling for “decisive measures” in Beijing as the capital moves to mass coronavirus testing after a spike in cases connected to a major wholesale food market.
Late on Sunday, all companies were ordered to supervise a 14-day home quarantine for employees who had visited the Xinfadi market or been in contact with anyone who had been there. The market has been closed and a number of residential estates around it sealed off. Schools and kindergartens in the area have been closed too.
“Beijing has entered an extraordinary period,” city spokesman Xu Hejian said.
According to state media, the latest figures show 49 new cases in mainland China, 10 imported and 39 acquired locally – 36 of them in Beijing.
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, who had led anti-#COVID19 fight in #Wuhan for months, urged authorities to take decisive measures in containing virus spread in #Beijing after latest infection clusters. The capital city is still facing high risks of further virus spreading: Sun pic.twitter.com/hjLl4IDj1b
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 15, 2020
Australia is expected to spend a further 1.5 billion Australian dollars ($1.03 billion) on infrastructure and fast-track approvals for a series of projects including the expansion of the Olympic Dam.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to speak later on Monday.
“As we come out of the COVID crisis, infrastructure can give us the edge many countries don’t have,” he’s expected to say, according to extracts of the speech sent to Reuters by his office.
The government has already brought forward 3.8 billion Australian dollars in infrastructure funding with the country facing its first recession in 30 years.
The UK’s easyJet will resume operations on Monday with a limited number of domestic flights within the UK. The first will leave Gatwick Airport for Glasgow at 06:00 GMT.
All passengers will have to wear face masks, aircraft cleaning will be enhanced and no food services will be offered.
EasyJet plans to add more services as the months progress and expects to be flying about three-quarters of its routes by August but at a much lower frequency.
Ghana’s health minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and is in a stable condition.
“Let us wish our hardworking minister for health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, a speedy recovery from the virus, which he contracted in the line of duty,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said on television on Sunday.
Ghana has recorded nearly 12,000 cases of coronavirus, one of the highest infection rates in Africa, but has also tested far more people than most other countries. It has reported 54 deaths.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (June 14) here.