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Coronavirus latest: Serbia protesters storm parliament over lockdown

  • July 08, 2020
  • Protesters in Serbia storm parliament hours after the decision to impose a new weekend curfew 

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive  

  • More than 11.7 million COVID-19 cases and over 542,000 deaths worldwide 

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT) 

04:47 Australia’s prime minister has said the country is likely to slow down the return of its citizen from abroad amid a fresh coronavirus outbreak that has prompted border closings and a stay-at-home order in its second most populous state.

The state line between Victoria and New South Wales, the country’s busiest, was closed overnight and starting at midnight local time the nearly 5 million residents of the Victorian capital of Melbourne will return to a partial lockdown amid a recent spike in coronavirus infections there.

“I can imagine the frustration…we don’t have control over the virus as such, but we do have control over how we respond,” Morrison said in a televised media conference.

The prime minister said that on Friday he would present a proposal for dealing with the pandemic to the national cabinet.

The plan aims to reduce the number of repatriation flights to the country in an attempt to slow the return of Australian citizens and permanent residents from abroad. These are the only two groups that have arrived in Australia since it closed its international border in March.

Neighboring New Zealand introduced such measures on Tuesday, saying its national airline will not take new inbound bookings for three weeks.

The Australian public has become increasingly concerned about security lapses in quarantine measures that resulted in returnees spreading the virus.

Victoria reported 134 new infections from Tuesday to Wednesday, down from the record of 191 new cases the day before, but still well over the low single digit daily increase seen in other states.

03:40 Coronavirus cases in Germany have risen by 397 in the past 24 hours, according to the latest tally from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The total number of people infected in the country now stands at 197,341.

Germany’s reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,036.

03:24 Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels have called for a bilateral ceasefire of at least three months to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and re-establish peace talks. 

ELN — the country’s biggest active guerrilla group — proposed the ceasefire on Tuesday, nearly a week after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution for a global ceasefire to fight the pandemic.

02:45 Britain’s National Gallery is set to open its doors to visitors today. Social distancing and advance booking will be mandatory and visitors are being advised to wear a face mask at the London site. 

It is the UK’s first major museum to reopen as the country continues to emerge from three months of lockdown.

London National Gallery (picture-alliance/AA/I. T. Salci)

The National Gallery in London is to reopen its doors today

02:25 Colombia on Tuesday extended its nationwide coronavirus lockdown by two weeks amid a further increase in COVID-19 infections. 

President Ivan Duque said the economy, however, will continue to be revived, particularly in the scores of municipalities that have zero to few coronavirus cases. Mayors of these municipalities can seek permission to reopen gyms, theatres and museums.

The Andean country has reported a total of 124,494 cases of infections and 4,359 deaths.

01:08 The US set a new record for cases within a 24-hour period after it recorded 60,209 new cases, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The country, which has been hard-hit by the virus, was just short of 3 million cases in total, at 2,991,351. 

00:27 Thousands of demonstrators clashed with the police in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Tuesday following a protest against a newly imposed weekend coronavirus curfew. 

Some protesters managed to push past a police cordon and break into the parliament building before being pushed back by riot police.  

Police fired several rounds of tear gas at the protesters, who in turn hurled flares, stones, bottles and eggs. Police vehicles were also set ablaze. 

AP reported that several clashes involved some extremist rioters who are linked to far-right groups.  

Violent confrontations also took place in front of the state TV building — the opposition accuses the broadcaster of pro-government bias. 

The protests erupted just hours after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic announced the imposition of the curfew due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the country.  

Vucic said during the televised announcement that all hospitals in the capital are nearly full. He singled out Belgrade as being particularly critical. This is the first time a curfew will be imposed in the country since early May.

Serbian police director Vladimir Rebic told the state television that smaller demonstrations were also held in other Serbian cities. 

Serbia’s coronavirus caseload is rising eight weeks after the nation began easing its earlier restrictions — once among the strictest in Europe. The country on Tuesday reported close to 3,000 active cases with 110 patients in critical condition. The total death toll is at 330. 

00:00 Catch up on Tuesday’s coronavirus news here: Coronavirus latest: WHO wishes Bolsonaro ‘full and speedy’ recovery

In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real-time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments, and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information. 

Germany’s national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU. 

dvv/stb (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa) 

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