File photo of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Photographer: Leon Neal | Getty Images via Bloomberg
File photo of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson | Photographer: Leon Neal | Getty Images via Bloomberg
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New Delhi: The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate countries across the world — the latest count being over 3.2 crore cases and more than 9.8 lakh deaths.

Scientific advisers to the UK government have warned that its new Covid-19 measures will fail to curb the spread. People in their 20s are contributing the most to Covid-19 cases in the US, says the CDC. And masks are no longer a requirement in most parts of New Zealand.

ThePrint brings you the most important global stories on the coronavirus pandemic and why they matter.

New Covid rules in UK ‘too little, too late’ 

After UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new rules to maintain physical distancing and reduce the spread of Covid, scientific advisers to the government have warned that the measures will fail to stop transmission, reports The Guardian.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson had laid out the new Covid-19 guidelines, which urge people to work from home, and have enforced pub curfews and limited attendance at weddings.

However, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which is being consulted by the UK government, said “the scientific advice is that stronger restrictions should apply overall”.

“Prof Cath Noakes, a member of Sage at Leeds University, did not comment on the group’s advice to ministers but, speaking in a personal capacity, said she doubted the new measures would prevent an exponential rise in coronavirus cases over the coming months,” the report says.

The UK has recorded 4,09,729 cases of Covid-19 and 41,862 deaths.

15-minute Covid tests to be available in Europe

Healthcare company Roche has said it will release rapid antigen tests throughout Europe, reports The Connexion. These tests will return the results in 15 to 30 minutes.

The news comes as a relief to France, especially, where the current number of labs is unable to meet the demand.

“In many laboratories in France, even meeting a 24-hour deadline has become impossible as demands for tests have doubled since August, with more than a million people now being tested for Covid-19 per week,” says the report.

France has reported 4,81,141 cases and 31,459 deaths.

Young adults now largest group in US getting Covid 

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deduced that Americans in their 20s account for more Covid-19 cases than any other age group, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to the study’s findings, in May, 20-somethings had contributed to 15 per cent of all Covid-19 cases, trailing behind those in their 30s, 40s and 50s. By June, however, they had claimed the top spot contributing to 20.2 per cent of overall cases.

The report quotes CDC researchers who also said “over time, these infections in younger adults appeared to spread to older, more vulnerable adults in certain parts of the country”.

The US has recorded 7,139,553 cases of Covid-19 and 2,06,593 deaths.


Also read: Why we’ll need masks even with a coronavirus vaccine


Covid-19 New Zealand: Mask rules eased as cases drop

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to drop in New Zealand, the Jacinda Ardern government has eased mask rules, reports the BBC. Mask coverings are now only required in Auckland, the epicentre of a recent outbreak, and on planes. On Monday, New Zealand lifted all pandemic restrictions and removed all curbs on social distancing.

“The government says face coverings aren’t necessary for the general public when there is no evidence of community transmission. But it is still encouraging people to wear masks on public transport. In Auckland, now at level two, they are still compulsory,” explains the report.

The use of masks had caused quite a stir in New Zealand as several resisted wearing them.

The report quotes Michael Baker, professor of public health at University of Otago: “It gets harder to sustain interest in mask use when people think there’s no virus anymore. We don’t have masks ingrained in our culture. And I think people have not got used to them at any point.”

New Zealand has recorded 1,824 cases and 25 deaths.

The man most responsible for Indonesia’s Covid crisis

Indonesia’s Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto, a military doctor, has been missing in action during the Covid-19 pandemic, reports the Asia Times.

“Officials involved in the pandemic response say they are puzzled as everyone about why Putranto remains at his post, particularly after Widodo complained bitterly at a June Cabinet meeting that only a tiny fraction of the annual $5.2 billion health budget had been spent,” says the report.

“It’s a big difference between working in a hospital and in a ministry,” an official told the newspaper.

The health ministry has become the largest cluster in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta with 252 confirmed cases. What is all the more shocking is that ministries and state agencies account for 12 of the top 20 clusters in the capital.

Indonesia has recorded 2,57,388 cases and 9,977 deaths.

What else we are reading:

The nose needed for this coronavirus test isn’t yours. It’s a dog’s: The New York Times

Covid-19 pandemic panners: Indonesians hunt for gold in desperate times: The Straits Times


Also read: UK is considering first-ever vaccine trials that expose people to coronavirus


 

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