Nepal | July 15, 2020

WHO warns of second wave of infection as countries begin to exit lockdowns

World Health Organization, extreme vigilance, easing lockdown, second wave of infections

Reuters
Share Now:

Easing risks: Eyes wide shut?

Officials from the World Health Organization are urging “extreme vigilance” as countries begin to exit weeks-long lockdowns, warning of the risk of a second wave of infections with a vaccine still a long way off.

In particular, it pointed to early studies showing lower-than-expected antibody levels against the disease within the general population, meaning most people remain susceptible.

“It’s really important that we hold up examples of countries who are willing to open their eyes and willing to keep their eyes open,” Dr Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said, citing Germany and South Korea.

In contrast, he said other countries, which he did not name, were “trying to drive through this blindly”.


Furloughing on notice

The UK government is expected on Tuesday to prepare the ground for a winding down of its furloughing programme, currently paying the wages of more than 6 million workers at businesses affected by the coronavirus.

Britain’s finance minister, Rishi Sunak, will make a statement on the government’s economic package at 1130 GMT – hours after one of his ministerial colleagues told a morning radio show that the programme “can’t last for ever”.

At present, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme pays employers 80% of the wages of staff who are on temporary leave – local media speculate this could fall to 60%.


Tourist quarantines

It’s already clear the pandemic has the potential to change the tourism industry in far-reaching if still indefinable ways. One of Europe’s top holiday destinations Spain has now ordered a two-week quarantine for all those arriving from abroad.

Incoming travellers will have to remain locked in and will only be allowed to go out for grocery shopping, to visit health centres or in case of “situation of need”, an official order published on Tuesday said.

The quarantine will be enforced for all travellers coming to Spain between May 15 and May 24 at the very earliest.


Cannes canned

“It breaks my heart,” said Joseph Morpelli, leading member of the so-called ‘stepladder gang’ of ardent autograph hunters and amateur paparazzi, as he stood across the street from the venue of the cancelled Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

Usually a hive of activity, the location where Morpelli and his fellow diehard fans could get a glimpse of celebrities walking down the red carpet is now deserted, as the film festival due to start on Tuesday has been called off.

It was only the third time in its history that the festival has failed to take place. The two previous occasions were the outbreak of World War Two and 1968, when France was rocked by violent anti-establishment protests.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Manchester United, Marcus Rashford, Premier League

United stay fifth after Saints grab last-gasp leveller

MANCHESTER: Manchester United's Champions League qualification hopes suffered a blow after an equaliser deep in stoppage time from Michael Obafemi earned Southampton a 2-2 draw in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Monday. United, unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions, were poised to m Read More...

Capital budget spending at two-decade low of 40 per cent

KATHMANDU, JULY 13 With just two days remaining for the 2019-20 fiscal year to end, capital budget expenditure throughout the year stands at one of the worst ever at 39.62 per cent. Officials at the Ministry of Finance said capital expenditure during the current fiscal year, which was primaril Read More...

Mayur company resumes bus service in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, July 13 Mayur Yatayat Company resumed its bus services from today in Kathmandu valley amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision of Mayur Yatayat has come as a relief to commuters at a time when other public transportation entrepreneurs were refusing to operate their services citing f Read More...

‘Press freedom should involve accountability’

Kathmandu, July 13 Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said the CIT Ministry ought to start digitisation first, by utilising the advancement of information technology. As the government has adopted a digital framework, we should become paperless in our activ Read More...

Absconding murder suspect held after 13 years

Kathmandu, July 13 Police have nabbed one of the two prime murder suspects of the much-hyped Sitapaila murder case that had happened 13 years ago. Two workers at a saw mill had allegedly killed its owner, his wife and inflicted serious injuries to their 15-year-old son on the night of 2 Januar Read More...

US debates school reopening, WHO warns 'no return to normal'

MIAMI: The resurgence of the coronavirus in the United States ignited fierce debate Monday about whether to reopen schools, as global health officials warned that the pandemic will intensify unless more countries adopt comprehensive plans to combat it. “If the basics aren’t followed, there is Read More...

landslide

COVID-19 control, disaster management top priorities

Kathmandu, July 13 Tokha Municipality in Kathmandu has set priorities for containment of COVID-19 crisis and disaster management in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The municipality that is located in the northern belt of Kathmandu unveiled a budget for Rs 1.58 billion for the fiscal y Read More...

US budget deficit hits all-time high of $864 billion in June

WASHINGTON: The federal government incurred the biggest monthly budget deficit in history in June as spending on programs to combat the coronavirus recession exploded while millions of job losses cut into tax revenues. The Treasury Department reported Monday that the deficit hit $864 billion last Read More...