New Zealand reported no new Covid-19 case on Monday for the fifth consecutive day after managing isolation and quarantine facilities.
The health ministry said the number of currently active cases is 21 in the country, report Xinhua.
It has been 101 days since the last Covid-19 case was acquired locally from an unknown source, according to the ministry.
Two additional cases are reported as having recovered. The ministry said in a statement that there are 21 active cases in managed isolation facilities.
New Zealand's total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains at 1,219, the ministry said, adding there is no one currently requiring hospital-level care for Covid-19.
"We've now passed 100 days without community transmission, but testing remains one of the best ways to ensure there's no undetected community transmission in New Zealand. We need everyone to play their part in that," the statement noted.
"While Covid-19 continues around the world, New Zealand cannot be complacent," it said, adding, "Every New Zealander needs to be prepared for the virus to re-emerge."
The ministry continues to recommend households add masks to their earthquake emergency kits, as part of New Zealand's ongoing response to Covid-19, and assures the public "there will sufficient masks for everyone."
New Zealand has been praised globally for its handling of the pandemic. The government has lifted almost all of its lockdown restrictions, first imposed in March.
An early lockdown, tough border restrictions, effective health messaging and an aggressive test-and-trace programme have all been credited with virtually eliminating the virus in the country.
But officials have warned against complacency, saying a second wave of cases was still possible.
"Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone. However, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent," Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said on Sunday.
"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand."
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, struck a similar tone, expressing delight tempered with caution.
The landmark "doesn't lessen any of the risk" of another spike in infections, Ms Ardern said.
"One hundred days is a milestone to mark but, again, we still need to be vigilant regardless," she added.
A vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus is scheduled to be registered on August 12 in Russia.
This would be the first official approval of an inoculation against COVID-19 in the world, reports RT News.
Deputy Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Oleg Gridnev made the disclosure, saying medical practitioners and the elderly people will get priority to have the vaccine.
The senior minister at the department, Mikhail Murashko, announced last week that a nationwide mass vaccination program is planned to begin in October.
Murashko added that all expenses will be covered by the government.
“The registration of the vaccine developed at the Gamelei Center will take place on August 12,” Gridnev told journalists in Ufa on Friday morning.
“Now the last stage, the third, is underway. This is the testing part and is extremely important. We have to understand that the vaccine itself must be safe.”
Clinical trials of the formula began at Moscow’s Sechenov University on June 18.
In a study involving 38 volunteers, it passed safety protocols. It was observed that all those who took part developed immunity to the infection.
The number of Britons moving to European Union countries soared after the Brexit vote in 2016, according to a U.K.-German study released Tuesday.
An analysis of official statistics by the Oxford in Berlin research partnership and the Berlin-based WZB Social Science Center found that migration from the United Kingdom to other EU countries rose by 30%, from about 57,000 a year in 2008-2015 to more than 73,000 a year in 2016-2018.
Spain saw the largest number of U.K. arrivals, followed by France.
“These increases in numbers are of a magnitude that you would expect when a country is hit by a major economic or political crisis,” report co-author Daniel Auer said.
Migration among the 27 countries that now remain in the European Union remained relatively stable during the same period, the researchers found.
The number of Britons seeking passports from EU nations also soared by more than 500%. In Germany it was up 2,000%.
British voters opted narrowly in a 2016 referendum to leave the EU, ending the automatic right of the bloc’s citizens to move to the U.K., and of Britons to live and work across Europe. Britain left the EU in January, though it remains bound by the bloc’s rules — including the right to freedom of movement — during a transition period that lasts until the end of 2020.
Brexit has left about 3.6 million EU citizens in the U.K. and more than 1 million Britons in the 27 EU nations scrambling to preserve their residency and employment status. The British government says more than 3 million Europeans have completed a registration process confirming their right to remain in the U.K.
Auer and co-author Daniel Tetlow said the study “reveals the U.K. is facing a potential brain drain of highly-educated British citizens, who have decided to invest their futures in continental Europe.”
Politician John Hume, who won Nobel Peace Prize for working to end violence in his native Northern Ireland, has passed away, reports AP.
He was 83 and has suffered from ill health for a number of years. His family confirmed his death on Monday.
The Catholic leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party was seen as the principal architect of Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement.
He shared the prize with the Protestant leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, David Trimble, for their efforts to end the sectarian violence that plagued the region for three decades and left more than 3,500 people dead.
Born on Jan 18, 1937, in Northern Ireland’s second city — Londonderry to British Unionists, Derry to Irish nationalists — Hume trained for the priesthood before becoming a fixture on the political landscape.
An advocate of nonviolence, he fought for equal rights in what was then a Protestant-ruled state, but he condemned the Irish Republican Army because of his certainty that no injustice was worth a human life.
Though he advocated for a united Ireland, Hume believed change could not come to Northern Ireland without the consent of its Protestant majority. He also realised that better relations needed to be forged between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and between London and Dublin.
He championed the notion of extending self-government to Northern Ireland with power divided among the groups forming it.
Hume won the breakthrough in Belfast’s political landscape in 1993 by courting Gerry Adams, the head of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, in hopes of securing an IRA cease-fire. That dialogue burnished Adams’ international credibility and led to two IRA cease-fires in 1994 and 1997.
Like most Protestant politicians at the time, Trimble had opposed efforts to share power with Catholics as likely to jeopardise Northern Ireland’s union with Britain. He at first refused to speak directly with Adams, insisting that IRA commanders needed to prove they were willing to abandon violence.
He ultimately relented and became pivotal in peacemaking efforts.
Hume had envisioned a broad agenda for the discussions, arguing they must be driven by close cooperation between the British and Irish governments. The process was overseen by neutral figures like US mediator George Mitchell, with the decisions overwhelmingly ratified by public referendums in both parts of Ireland.
Tributes poured in after’s Hume’s death was announced, from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chief European Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, and Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
With the economy shrinking by 12.1 percent in the second quarter of the year, the Eurozone has entered the deepest recession in its history.
Economists had previously forecast widely differing falls in GDP of between 8 percent and 18.5 percent. The fall comes after a 3.8 percent drop in output during January to March as the region felt the impact of coronavirus.
The economy of Spain, one of the worst coronavirus-hit countries, shrank by 18.5 percent - the highest among Eurozone members, reports The Independent.
France also reported a precipitous 14 percent contraction during coronavirus lockdown in the second quarter.
The fall showed the severe economic impact of its two-month lockdown which has had a damaging effect on jobs and industries, forcing France to talk down possibilities of another nationwide shutdown.
Andrew Kenningham, the chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, said the newly released data confirmed that Eurozone GDP slumped just as much as feared in the second quarter but inflation remained well below target.
He said the recovery will be “painfully slow”.
Bangladesh feels the brunt
For the UK, the latest official figures showed a 25 percent plunge in GDP during March and April but there are signs that a partial recovery has begun.
Andy Haldane, the chief economist of the Bank of England, said earlier this month that the UK economy has recovered around half of its massive fall in output during the coronavirus lockdown.
He said Britain has seen a V-shaped recovery. “We’ve seen a bounceback. So far, it has been a ‘V’. That of course doesn’t tell us about where we might go next,” he told parliament’s Treasury Committee.
Bangladesh has also been feeling the brunt of the coronavirus-induced economic hardship. All economic activities came to a grinding halt during the months of lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
Millions of people were left without jobs and businesses suffered much loss. Many small businesses were forced to shut down while the country’s leading foreign currency earner, the RMG sector, saw orders amounting to $3.18 billion either suspended or cancelled, plunging millions of workers, mostly women, into uncertainty.
The government eventually moved to gradually open up the economy but the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, raising fears that worsening situation could force the country to go for another spell of lockdown which will be economically devastating.