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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 19.3 million infected globally; more than 721,000 dead, over 11.5 million recovered
  • 283,787 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,071 dead, 259,604 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
7:40 PM

WHO lists precautions for air travel

7:10 PM

Indonesia reports 2,277 new coronavirus infections

6:25 PM

Hong Kong reports 69 new coronavirus cases

5:50 PM

India's virus cases top 60,000 for 2nd day

5:27 PM

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

4:51 PM

Sindh reports 300 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

4:21 PM

At least 17 participants of Afghan grand assembly positive for coronavirus

4:01 PM

Czechs record biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases since April 3

4:00 PM

Children walk back to school in Gaza after five-month shutdown

3:30 PM

CDC warns against drinking hand sanitiser

3:05 PM

NCOC directs provinces to prepare tourism guidelines to prevent resurgence in cases

2:47 PM

Russia reports more than 5,200 new coronavirus cases

2:17 PM

Britain to require masks at most indoor places

12:57 PM

Australia's Victoria sees 'stabilisation' in new coronavirus cases

12:30 PM

Punjab records 183 cases, 2 fatalities

12:25 PM

32 new cases reported in Islamabad, 14 in GB, 5 in AJK

12:20 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries rise to 259,604

10:16 AM

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America hit global high

9:38 AM

SOPs issued for Muharram, Independence Day

Aug 07, 2020
11:00 PM

A sweetheart deal: Germany to exempt unmarried couples from Covid-19 border controls

10:24 PM

Malta reimposes curbs as Covid-19 infections surge

9:26 PM

Ireland set to reimpose Covid-19 restrictions in three counties — Irish Times

9:00 PM

KP reports 107 new cases, 3 more deaths

8:36 PM

US death toll from Covid-19 tops 160,000

8:00 PM

Vietnam PM says risk of widespread Covid-19 infection 'very high'

7:40 PM

Norwegian cruise line executive suspended after virus outbreak

7:10 PM

WATCH: WHO shows how to use a fabric face mask to protect yourself from Covid-19

6:15 PM

Sindh reports 487 Covid-19 cases, 9 deaths

5:50 PM

Syria doctors fear virus spreading faster than clinics can test

5:25 PM

Spain locks down town of 32,000 for two weeks

5:03 PM

11 Bangladesh national footballers coronavirus positive

4:33 PM

UK shops see more visits in July but numbers still low: survey

4:04 PM

Germany orders tests for all travelers from 'risk areas'

3:50 PM

Govt allows resumption of international flight operations at all airports

3:19 PM

Russia’s race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West

2:16 PM

Hong Kong to offer free coronavirus testing for all residents

1:40 PM

South Korean doctors strike over plan to boost medical student numbers

1:04 PM

Russia's Covid-19 cases fourth highest in the world

12:34 PM

Islamabad, AJK and GB collectively report 102 virus cases, 5 deaths

12:26 PM

Punjab reports 193 coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

12:17 PM

Pakistan reports 2,041 Covid-19 recoveries

11:02 AM

India hits 2 million Covid-19 cases

10:04 AM

Coronavirus cases worldwide pass 19 million

9:31 AM

PMA expresses concern over govt decision to open up country

Aug 06, 2020
11:09 PM

Lebanon coronavirus cases peak after deadly blast

10:31 PM

South African funeral parlours serve as mortuaries as death toll from Covid-19 spikes

10:00 PM

Italy threatens to ban Ryanair in coronavirus compliance dispute

9:27 PM

Los Angeles authorities may cut off power and utilities to houses that host large parties

9:00 PM

Norway sets 10-day quarantine on incomers from France, Switzerland, others

8:30 PM

Pool sales skyrocket as consumers splash out on coronavirus cocoons

Aug 08, 2020 07:10pm

Indonesia reports 2,277 new coronavirus infections

Indonesia has reported 2,277 new coronavirus infections and 65 more deaths, data from its health ministry website showed.

This brings the country’s total to 123,503 coronavirus infections and 5,658 deaths.

Aug 08, 2020 06:25pm

Hong Kong reports 69 new coronavirus cases

Hong Kong has reported 69 new coronavirus cases, of which 67 were locally transmitted, as authorities continued efforts to contain a resurgence of infections in the global financial hub over the past month.

More than 4,000 people have now been infected in Hong Kong since late January.

On Friday, 89 new cases were reported, as the government announced that it would offer free voluntary coronavirus testing to Hong Kong residents.

Aug 08, 2020 05:50pm

India's virus cases top 60,000 for 2nd day

India has recorded 61,537 new coronavirus cases over the past day, the country's health ministry said.

New cases have topped 60,000 nationwide for the second consecutive day, with more than 500,000 infections reported in just nine days.

India also recorded 933 more deaths over the past day. The death toll has hit 42,518, with the total cases crossing two million. Recoveries have exceeded 1.4 million, according to Anadolu Agency.

Aug 08, 2020 05:27pm

Brazil Covid-19 deaths reach 100,000 and barrel onward

Brazil’s death toll from Covid-19 is expected to hit 100,000 today and continue to climb as most Brazilian cities reopen shops and dining even though the pandemic has yet to peak.

Confronting its most lethal outbreak since the Spanish flu a century ago, Brazil reported its first cases of the novel coronavirus at the end of February. The virus took three months to kill 50,000 people, and just 50 days to kill the next 50,000.

Crosses, balloons and Brazilian flags are seen at Copacabana beach, placed by members of the NGO Rio de Paz in tribute to the 100,000 victims of the coronavirus  in the country, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. — Reuters
Crosses, balloons and Brazilian flags are seen at Copacabana beach, placed by members of the NGO Rio de Paz in tribute to the 100,000 victims of the coronavirus in the country, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday. — Reuters

Led by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the gravity of the epidemic and fought lockdowns by local officials, Brazilians who protested nightly from their windows in the first months of the outbreak have met the grim milestone with a shrug.

“We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war. But Brazil is under collective anesthesia,” said Dr. José Davi Urbaez, a senior member of the Infectious Diseases Society.

Aug 08, 2020 04:51pm

Sindh reports 300 Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths

Sindh has reported 300 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 123,546, according to a statement from Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

It has also reported three additional fatalities, taking the death toll to 2,262. Another 450 people have recovered from the virus in the province, taking the total number of recovered people to 115,415, the statement added.

Aug 08, 2020 04:21pm

At least 17 participants of Afghan grand assembly positive for coronavirus

At least 17 participants of a major Afghan grand assembly tested positive for the new coronavirus, officials have said, a day after the high-profile gathering began in Kabul to deliberate over the fate of Taliban prisoners and the beginning of the peace process in the war-torn country.

“Samples from all 3,620 participants were taken by our health team, and among them result of 17 were positive” for the virus that causes the disease, said Saeed Jami, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s ministry of public health. Some participants were tested twice, Reuters quoted him as saying.

The 17 who tested positive have been sent to the hospital quarantine and treatment, he said.

Aug 08, 2020 04:01pm

Czechs record biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases since April 3

The Czech Republic has recorded its biggest daily rise in new coronavirus cases since April 3 due to local outbreaks in a number of regions, the health ministry reported.

The central European country of 10.7 million recorded 323 new cases on Friday, Health Ministry data showed, bringing the total number of cases detected to 18,060. Of those, 12,749 have recovered and 389 have died of Covid-19.

Health officials have said the recent uptick in cases is due to local clusters and they say hospitalisations, at 116, are well below peaks of over 400 as the government seeks to avoid a national lockdown again.

Aug 08, 2020 04:00pm

Children walk back to school in Gaza after five-month shutdown

Hundreds of thousands of children walk through the streets of the Gaza Strip to return to classes after five months of shutdown — though authorities said they were ready to close schools again if coronavirus cases spike.

Pupils mingled freely before heading into playgrounds for roll call and filing into classrooms. At one school in the northern Jabalia refugee camp, teachers wearing face masks welcomed children and offered to sanitise their hands.

Gaza, mostly cut off from the world by an Israeli-led blockade, has not recorded any Covid-19 cases in the towns and refugee camps where around two million Palestinians live.

Aug 08, 2020 03:43pm

NCOC directs provinces to prepare tourism guidelines to prevent resurgence in cases

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has directed the provinces to prepare guidelines to manage tourism so that a resurgence in coronavirus cases can be prevented.

The NCOC meeting, chaired by Development Minister Asad Umar also directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir administrations in particular to make "all out efforts to enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs) on visiting tourists including the use of facemasks and density control".

The meeting also decided that testing and contact tracing of tourists would be increased for the next three weeks through "establishing of special sentinel sites at tourist spots and airports".

Aug 08, 2020 02:47pm

Russia reports more than 5,200 new coronavirus cases

Russian authorities have reported 5,212 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its national tally to 882,347, the fourth largest in the world.

The official death toll rose to 14,854 after officials said 129 people died across the country in the last 24 hours.

Aug 08, 2020 02:17pm

Britain to require masks at most indoor places

People in Britain must now wear masks in most indoor settings as the country tries to squash a rise in coronavirus infections that has followed the easing of lockdown measures, AP reported.

England and Scotland now require face-coverings in most indoor spaces, including places of worship, museums, cinemas, banks and libraries. They were already mandatory in shops and on public transit.

A swath of northern England has been put under tougher restrictions that bar households from mixing, after a surge in infections that authorities blame partly on people meeting up in homes and pubs.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

Aug 08, 2020 12:57pm

Australia's Victoria sees 'stabilisation' in new coronavirus cases

Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, has recorded 466 cases of the new coronavirus and 12 Covid-19 deaths, though authorities expressed hope for stabilisation in new infections thanks to strict mobility restrictions.

Victoria is at the centre of a second wave of infections in Australia, accounting for more than two-thirds of the national tally of nearly 21,000.

Aug 08, 2020 12:30pm

Punjab records 183 cases, 2 fatalities

Punjab has recorded 183 new Covid-19 cases, according to the government's portal, taking the provincial tally to 94,223.

It has also recorded two more fatalities from the virus, taking the provincial death toll to 2,166.

Aug 08, 2020 12:25pm

32 new cases reported in Islamabad, 14 in GB, 5 in AJK

Islamabad has reported 32 new coronavirus cases, according to the government's Covid-19 portal, taking the capital's total to 15,214.

Gilgit Baltistan recorded 14 cases while Azad Jammu and Kashmir confirmed five, taking their tallies to 2,301 and 2, 129, respectively.

Islamabad and AJK also reported one additional death each.

Aug 08, 2020 12:20pm

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries rise to 259,604

Another 1,505 people have recovered from the coronavirus in Pakistan, according to the government's database.

The total number of recovered people has risen to 259,604 while 801 people are in critical condition.

Aug 08, 2020 10:16am

Coronavirus deaths in Latin America hit global high

Latin America and the Caribbean have surpassed Europe to become the region hardest-hit with coronavirus deaths, AFP reported.

The world's worst-affected region has reported 213,120 fatalities, 460 more than Europe, according to an AFP tally based on official data.

Aug 08, 2020 09:38am

SOPs issued for Muharram, Independence Day

The government has announced the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for August 14 and Muharram, an NCOC meeting has been told.

According to the SOPs for Muharram:

  • only registered processions would be allowed to be taken out

  • organisers of processions will be asked to avoid narrow streets

  • speakers would have to wear masks and maintain a distance of at least six feet from the first row of the majlis participants

For Independence Day events, use of sanitisers at entry points and wearing of masks would be mandatory for participants.

Read the full story here.

Aug 07, 2020 11:00pm

A sweetheart deal: Germany to exempt unmarried couples from Covid-19 border controls

Germany will give a welcome break to the coronavirus lovelorn from Monday — easing its border controls to allow unmarried couples to reunite after what has been months of separation for some, according to Reuters.

The exemption will apply to the partners of Germans from countries that Germany considers high-risk — currently most of the world outside the EU — and couples will have to provide some proof that they were in a relationship before the pandemic, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Most European Union borders have been closed to non-EU travellers since March, unless they are essential workers or married to an EU resident.

On social media, separated couples have been lobbying under the hashtags #LoveIsEssential and #LoveIsNotTourism for governments to allow them to reunite.

Aug 07, 2020 10:24pm

Malta reimposes curbs as Covid-19 infections surge

Malta banned mass gatherings and made it mandatory to wear masks in public on Friday as new coronavirus cases surged after having been reduced to zero for a week early in July, Reuters reports.

Health authorities reported 49 new infections on Friday, the second highest daily number since the first case was detected on March 7. Nine patients have died.

Prime Minister Robert Abela ordered restrictions on public gatherings and measures to limit direct access to people in nursing homes, with visitors required to remain behind Perspex screens.

“This is not a time to point the finger of blame,” Abela told reporters. “We took all steps during this pandemic with the best interest of the public in mind.”

The decision to reimpose controls represents a sharp turnaround for Malta, which depends on tourism for a third of its GDP.

Aug 07, 2020 09:26pm

Ireland set to reimpose Covid-19 restrictions in three counties — Irish Times

Ireland's public health advisory team has recommended the first localised reimposition of coronavirus restrictions to control outbreaks in three of the country's 26 counties, the Irish Times reported on Friday.

Ireland, which for several weeks had one of the lowest infection rates in Europe, has seen a spike over the last week.

Health officials said they would issue new guidance for the adjoining counties of Kildare, Laois and Offaly on Friday.

7th Aug, 8:00 PM

Vietnam PM says risk of widespread Covid-19 infection 'very high'

The risk of Covid-19 spreading widely in Vietnam is “very high”, its prime minister said, after a new outbreak in the central city of Danang late last month ended a three month run of no new domestic cases, Reuters reports.

“The risk of community infection is very high, requiring more determination, solidarity and responsibility from the political system in order to take stronger and more determined measures over the next two weeks,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said, according a government statement.

7th Aug, 7:40 PM

Norwegian cruise line executive suspended after virus outbreak

Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten said it had asked a top executive to step aside, after a coronavirus outbreak on one of its ships led to suspended operations and a police investigation, according to AFP.

The Arctic cruise operator has been in hot water after an outbreak of Covid-19 was recorded on the MS Roald Amundsen.

“On the initiative of Hurtigruten, Bent Martini is temporarily stepping down from the positions as chairman of the board and as managing director,” CEO of Hurtigruten, Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement.

Hurtigruten said it had hired a law firm and an independent auditor “to conduct a full investigation of the incident”.

7th Aug, 6:15 PM

Sindh reports 487 Covid-19 cases, 9 deaths

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said 487 coronavirus cases and nine deaths were reported in the province during the last 24 hours.

In a statement, he said 12,420 tests were carried out during this period. With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 123,246 while the death toll is 2,259.

7th Aug, 5:50 PM

Syria doctors fear virus spreading faster than clinics can test

Syria's capital is facing a “terrible” spike in Covid-19 infections, with hospitals packed, patients scouring Facebook for advice and medics fearing the virus is spreading faster than clinics can test for it, according to AFP.

Authorities in government-held areas have confirmed 999 cases including 48 deaths — but even the health ministry admitted this week it lacks the “capacity [...] to carry out widespread testing in the provinces”.

“There has been a massive spread among cities,” the ministry admits, saying there are only 25,000 hospital beds available in government-controlled areas.

7th Aug, 5:25 PM

Spain locks down town of 32,000 for two weeks

Spanish authorities have ordered about 32,000 people into lockdown in the central riverside town of Aranda de Duero in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, AFP reports.

Known for its vineyards, Aranda de Duero residents will find their movements restricted to the absolute minimum and be barred from entering or leaving the town which lies 150 kilometres north of Madrid.

Other areas have already put local lockdowns in place, including in the Basque Country, and the regions of Catalonia and Aragon.

7th Aug, 5:03 PM

11 Bangladesh national footballers coronavirus positive

Eleven players from the Bangladesh national football squad have tested positive for the coronavirus, dealing a blow to their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The infections were confirmed after 24 of 36 players scheduled to join a training camp organised by the team's English coach Jamie Day were tested.

“None of them carried any symptoms before coming for the test,” Bangladesh Football Federation General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag said.

Bangladesh has officially recorded just over 250,000 cases of Covid-19 and more than 3,300 deaths.

7th Aug, 4:04 PM

Germany orders tests for all travelers from 'risk areas'

Germany will require people arriving from countries deemed high risk, such as the United States, to take coronavirus tests starting this weekend, AP reported while quoting the health minister.

The decision comes as the country recorded its highest daily tally of new infections in three months.

People entering from countries deemed high-risk currently most of the world outside the Europe Union, as well as Luxembourg, parts of northern Spain and the Belgian city of Antwerp are already required to quarantine for 14 days unless they can present a negative test result no more than two days old.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said that, starting Saturday, people arriving from those countries will also be required to take a test unless they bring a new test result with them.

"I am very well aware that this impinges on individual freedoms, but I believe that this is a justifiable intervention,” Spahn said.

7th Aug, 3:50 PM

Govt allows resumption of international flight operations at all airports

The government has allowed international flight operations in Pakistan to fully resume at all airports, a day after it announced the lifting of several coronavirus restrictions in light of reducing cases and deaths.

"International scheduled flight operations to/from Pakistan will revert to authorisations as per summer-20 scheduling season. However, international flight operations shall be conducted in accordance with established guidelines and applicable standard operating procedures (SOPs)," a NOTAM (notice to airmen) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said.

Read full story here.

7th Aug, 3:19 PM

Russia’s race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West

Russia boasts that it’s about to become the first country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with mass vaccinations planned as early as October using shots that are yet to complete clinical trials — and scientists worldwide are sounding the alarm that the headlong rush could backfire, AP reported.

The experimental Covid-19 shots began first-in-human testing on a few dozen people less than two months ago, and there’s no published scientific evidence yet backing Russia’s late entry to the global vaccine race, much less explaining why it should be considered a front-runner.

7th Aug, 2:16 PM

Hong Kong to offer free coronavirus testing for all residents

Hong Kong will offer free voluntary coronavirus testing for residents, leader Carrie Lam said, as the global financial hub races to contain a resurgence of the virus over the past month, according to Reuters.

The plan, which will enable city-wide testing for the first time, is likely to be implemented in two weeks at the earliest, Chief Executive Lam said.

“The situation in Hong Kong is still critical, with the number of cases remaining high,” Lam told reporters as she sat in front of a large screen digital backdrop which read: "Fight the virus with the central government's full support".

7th Aug, 1:40 PM

South Korean doctors strike over plan to boost medical student numbers

The South Korean government has said that its goal to increase the number of medical students by 4,000 over the next 10 years was necessary to better prepare for public health crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

The student doctors, however, said extra funding would be better spent improving the salaries of existing trainees, which would encourage them to move out of Seoul to rural areas where more professionals are needed. Thousands have gone on strike and are protesting outside parliament.

7th Aug, 1:04 PM

Russia's Covid-19 cases fourth highest in the world

Russia's national tally of the novel coronavirus cases is now the fourth largest in the world as authorities report 5,241 new cases, Reuters reported.

The total number of cases is now 877,135. The official death toll rose to 14,725 after officials said 119 people had died across the country in the last 24 hours.

7th Aug, 12:34 PM

Islamabad, AJK and GB collectively report 102 virus cases, 5 deaths

Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) have reported 102 coronavirus cases and five deaths during the last 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

Here is a breakdown of the total cases and deaths reported during this period:

  • Islamabad: 41 cases, 3 deaths
  • AJK: 8 cases, 2 deaths
  • GB: 53 cases
7th Aug, 12:26 PM

Punjab reports 193 coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

Punjab has reported 193 Covid-19 cases and two deaths during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

The provincial total has risen to 94,040 while the death toll is 2,164.

7th Aug, 12:17 PM

Pakistan reports 2,041 Covid-19 recoveries

Another 2,041 coronavirus recoveries have been reported in the country during the past 24 hours, according to data from the government's Covid-19 portal.

With the new recoveries, the tally has risen to 258,099.

7th Aug, 11:02 AM

India hits 2 million Covid-19 cases

India has hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic as it crossed two million cases of infection and more than 41,000 deaths.

India’s health ministry also reported recoveries as a share of total cases are also growing.

India has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. It has the fifth-most deaths and its fatality rate of about 2pc is far lower than the other hardest-hit countries.

7th Aug, 10:04 AM

Coronavirus cases worldwide pass 19 million

The number of coronavirus cases recorded worldwide has passed 19 million, according to John Hopkins and AFP tally.

Forty per cent of cases have been recorded in US and Brazil, the two worst-affected countries.

7th Aug, 9:31 AM

PMA expresses concern over govt decision to open up country

Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has expressed concern over decision to open up the country, saying that the government should have at least waited for the consequences of Eidul Azha.

“It will take 10 days to know if the virus rapidly spread during Eidul Azha. There are some events such as 14th August on which once again people will start gathering. Moreover, Majalis will be held during Muharram due to which another spike can be observed,” PMA secretary general Dr Qaisar Sajjad said.

Read the full story here.

6th Aug, 11:09 PM

Lebanon coronavirus cases peak after deadly blast

Lebanon has recorded 255 new coronavirus cases — its highest single-day infection tally — after a monstrous blast upended a planned lockdown and sent thousands streaming into overflowing hospitals, already struggling to cope.

The health ministry figures were reported by the state-run National News Agency, which also announced two new deaths.

They bring the total number of Covid-19 infections in Lebanon to 4,604, including 70 deaths since the outbreak first began in February.

Tuesday's blast meant many people forgot about their face masks as they crammed into vehicles, sometimes riding with strangers, en route to hospitals which were also damaged by the explosion.

6th Aug, 10:00 PM

Italy threatens to ban Ryanair in coronavirus compliance dispute

Italy's air transport regulator has written to Ryanair over what it says were repeated violations of measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and said it could suspend the budget carrier from flying to Italy, Reuters reports.

The warning from ENAC, the national civil aviation authority, came after airlines resumed flights to many holiday destinations in countries balancing the need to attract tourists with fears of a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Ryanair said in a statement that ENAC's assertions were “factually incorrect.” Italian rules require passengers to maintain distance from others unless other precautions are taken including controlled boarding and disembarkation to avoid close contact, temperature tests and the wearing of face masks.

But ENAC said Ryanair had systematically violated rules aimed at limiting the risk of contagion for passengers.

6th Aug, 9:00 PM

Norway sets 10-day quarantine on incomers from France, Switzerland, others

Norway will on Saturday reimpose a 10-day quarantine for all travellers from France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in those countries, Reuters quoted its public health institute as saying on Thursday.

Norway will also reimpose quarantine for people travelling from Monaco and from certain regions in neighbouring Sweden, while lifting quarantine for other regions.

The Nordic country, which is not a member of the European Union but belongs to the passport-free Schengen travel zone, had some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe in the early phase of the pandemic before gradually lifting them from June.

Other countries in Europe are considering what measures, if any, to impose to prevent a new wave of infections.