Australia reported 19 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, but the state of Victoria, which is the epicenter of the country’s second wave of the virus, saw a decrease in the number of confirmed infections.
Victoria reported 322 new confirmed infections in the last 24 hours, marking a two-week low, officials said. However, state premier Daniel Andrews has said that one cannot read too much into a single day’s data.
Other states still haven’t posted their daily totals but the 19 deaths reported in Victoria over the past 24 hours already mark the country’s highest single-day rise in fatalities.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met President Tsai Ing-wen in Tapei on Monday to praise Taiwan’s coronavirus response.
The meeting, which was the highest-level visit by an American official since formal ties broke between the two countries in 1979, was aimed at discussing “more breakthroughs and fruits of cooperation” to deal with the pandemic, Tsai told reporters.
“It’s a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said, attributing Taiwan’s successful COVID-19 response to the “open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan’s society and culture.”
Taiwan has reported a total of 277 confirmed infections and seven deaths from the virus. The US, however, has the largest coronavirus caseload in the world.
Read more: How has Taiwan kept its coronavirus infection rate so low?
Indigenous people in Peru were involved in a clash with local police following an assault on an oil company settlement in the Amazon, the government said on Sunday. Three native community members were killed and multiple people — six police officers and 11 indigenous people — were injured.
Around 70 indigenous people attempted to overrun the settlement at the remote town of Bretana in the Loreto region to voice their displeasure over government apathy towards native communities during the coronavirus pandemic and frequent oil spills.
While the police said the indigenous people opened fire first, ORPIO, an organization representing indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon, has maintained that it was the police who did so.
“Our indigenous brothers did not have firearms. They only carried spears as an ancestral tool of defense,” ORPIO said in a statement.
A Canadian-owned company, PetroTal, has suspended work at the site following the clashes.
More than half a year after the pandemic broke out, an increasing number of people are seeing COVID-19 not solely as a disaster, but also as a possible catalyst for reforms. It has also torn down mental barriers that were hitherto thought permanent.
Read more: How the coronavirus has spurred change in Germany
This weekend temperatures exceeded 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of Germany. With many Germans on summer holiday and some foreign travel restrictions still in place, authorities feared that people heading to lakes would not respect social distancing.
However, crowds at Germany’s lakes were somewhat smaller than expected.
This weekend temperatures have exceeded 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. With many Germans on summer holiday and some foreign travel restrictions still in place, authorities feared that people heading to lakes would not respect social distancing. However, crowds at Germany’s lakes were somewhat smaller than expected.
Such hot temperatures and little or no rainfall mean that most of the country is under a fire risk warning. Despite this, German people are taking the opportunity to barbecue. There are warnings for storms in the coming days across the country.
In parts of the UK, temperatures are up to 36 degrees Celsius, the hottest August temperatures recorded for almost 20 years. Cases of COVID-19 remain high in Europe’s worst-affected country, but many revelers still headed to popular seaside resorts like Brighton to enjoy the water.
Travel warnings are in place for all or part of Belgium for many European countries, including Germany, after coronavirus cases spiked in the province of Antwerp. Belgians nevertheless took the opportunity to head to the beach as temperatures reached the high 30s.
Shortly after Paris made face masks for all compulsory this week, the French capital saw a heatwave alert system put in place by the government. Tourists are being urged to respect social distancing and continue wearing masks despite the heat.
Back in Germany, authorities in the state of Schleswig-Holstein called for beach visitors to keep respecting social distancing. Many feared that beaches would be overwhelmed. School summer holidays are drawing to a close and families took the chance to have a dip in the Baltic Sea — normally a place synonymous with freezing temperatures.
see/dr (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)