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Spain’s daily coronavirus infections spike to nearly 3000, not yet second wave

The new data brought the cumulative total to 337,334 cases in the country. The ministry also said 70 people had died over the past seven days, bringing the death toll from the virus to 28,605.

Since lifting one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns around seven weeks ago, Spain has struggled to keep a lid on new infections, with average daily cases rising from less than 150 in June to more than 1500 in the first 12 days of August, and now spiking further.

The resurgence of the virus has dashed Spain’s hopes of saving the tourism season as many countries have issued no-travel advisories or introduced quarantine requirements for travellers from Spain.

Various Spanish regions have reimposed some restrictions and even come up with new ones, such as a ban on smoking in public spaces in Galicia and the Canary Islands.

UK imposes 14-day quarantine on arrivals from France

The United Kingdom will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France on Saturday because COVID-19 infection rates there are too high, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday.

The government, wary of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, also added the Netherlands, Malta and three other countries to its quarantine list. Spain and Belgium have already been added in recent weeks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said experts would examine the latest coronavirus data from France.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said experts would examine the latest coronavirus data from France.Credit:Getty Images

“Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of #coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN,” Shapps said on Twitter.

“If you arrive in the UK after 0400 Saturday from these destinations, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.”

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The French Foreign Ministry gave no immediate reaction..

The French health ministry reported 2669 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours on Thursday, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the second day in a row and taking the country’s cumulative total of cases to 209,365.

The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 1962, a total that has doubled over the last two weeks and is at levels not seen since the end of April.

The reimposition of quarantine conditions is hitting Britons’ favourite holiday destinations in the middle of summer and as the travel industry fights for survival.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government would be ruthless when it came to imposing fresh restrictions on arrivals because of the danger of importing fresh cases of the virus.

“We’ve got to be absolutely ruthless about this, even with our closest and dearest friends and partners around the world,” Johnson said on a visit to Northern Ireland.

WHO downplays danger of virus latching on to food packaging

The World Health Organisation on Thursday downplayed the danger of the coronavirus latching on to food packaging and urged people not to be afraid of the virus entering the food chain.

Two cities in China said they had found traces of the coronavirus in imported frozen food and on food packaging, raising fears that contaminated food shipments might cause new outbreaks.

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“People should not fear food, or food packaging or processing or delivery of food,” WHO head of emergencies program Mike Ryan told a briefing in Geneva. “There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus. And people should feel comfortable and safe.”

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said China had tested hundreds of thousands of packages and “found very, very few, less than 10” proving positive for the virus.

More than 20.69 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and almost 750,000​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

The WHO urged countries now that are striking bilateral deals for vaccines not to abandon multilateral efforts, since vaccinating pockets will still leave the world vulnerable.

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Reuters

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