As of 8 am, June 16, 2020:
World count: 8,003,021 cases, 3,832,784 recoveries, 435,619 deaths
There are now 8,003,021 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 worldwide. The United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases, with 2,153,782 infections, followed by Brazil (891,556) and Russia (537,210).
There have been 435,619 deaths from the coronavirus all over the globe since the pandemic began. The US has the highest number of deaths in the world, with 118,002 fatalities from Covid-19, followed by Brazil (44,118), and the United Kingdom (41,736).
3,832,784 people worldwide have recovered from the coronavirus.
Singapore: 214 additional cases, 777 more discharged, 3 community cases
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on June 15 that there are 214 new Covid-19 cases in the country, of which three are community cases. The other 211 cases are of Work Permit holders living in dormitories. The June 15 tally of new cases is the lowest it has been since April 11.
Singapore now has a total of 40,818 confirmed cases, with an additional 777 discharged from hospital. A total of 30,366 individuals have recovered.
Of the active coronavirus cases in Singapore, 243 are in hospital, and two are in intensive care. 10,183 are in hospitals or community facilities. Twenty-six people in Singapore have died of Covid-19 related causes, and 10 people infected with the coronavirus have died from non-respiratory infections, but their deaths are not considered to be part of the official death toll.
The new coronavirus cluster in Beijing, which has over 100 infections, has been called a “significant event” by the World Health Organization (WHO). The executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan, said, “In China, when you spend over 50 days without having any significant local transmission the cluster like this is a concern, and it needs to be investigated and controlled.
In that sense, it is big news. Within the grand scheme of things around the number of cases per day around the world, it’s not, but it is a significant event.”
Dr Ryan underlined the importance of studying infection clusters because they give a “much better picture of the public health advice we need to give our communities — on what behaviors to avoid, and what places to avoid, and what circumstances to avoid.”
Red Cross: All blood donations to be tested for coronavirus antibodies
According to a press release from the Red Cross, the organisation will now be testing all blood donations for Covid-19 antibodies, in the hopes of increasing interest in blood donation. “The Red Cross hopes that testing for Covid-19 antibodies will provide its valued donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to this coronavirus.” The antibody tests do not confirm current coronavirus infections but show if a donor’s immune system has produced antibodies for the coronavirus.
Chris Hrouda, president of The Red Cross Biomedical Services, said, “As a humanitarian organization and member of the broader health community, the Red Cross has adapted our services to help meet the needs of this extraordinary time.”
US: New York Attorney General asks Apple, Google to stop contact-tracing apps from abusing people’s information
Letitia James, New York’s Attorney General, has asked, tech giants Apple and Google to disallow third-party contact tracing apps from abusing the data provided by consumers. Apple and Google have a Bluetooth-based Exposure Notification protocol used in contact tracing under strict specifications, but third-party apps are not held to the same standard. “It is imperative that apps that use sensitive health information be developed only by public health agencies, to ensure that appropriate protections are in place and to provide accountability,” Ms James wrote to the two companies.
Hollywood: Oscar Awards postponed to April 21
For the first time in 40 years, the film world’s most prestigious film awards are being delayed. From its scheduled date of February 28, the Oscar Awards will now be held on April 25, 2021, according to its board of governors. In a joint statement, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said, “For over a century, movies have played an important role in comforting, inspiring, and entertaining us during the darkest of times. They certainly have this year. Our hope, in extending the eligibility period and our Awards date, is to provide the flexibility filmmakers need to finish and release their films without being penalized for something beyond anyone’s control.”
Iceland: International travelers now welcome
On June 15, Iceland cautiously reopened to international travelers. Visitors will be tested when they arrive, and negative cases will no longer be put under the 14-day quarantine. Children born in 2005 and onward are not required to be tested. For this month, travelers may get the test for free, but from July onward, they need to pay around $110. Samples are taken via two swabs from the nose and throat and are released within a day. Passengers may leave immediately, though they are cautioned to practice safety measures. Iceland has had less than 2,000 cases of Covid-19 and only 10 deaths. As of June 15, the country only had four active cases of coronavirus. —/TISG