The Latest: UK records lowest death toll since lockdown

Health

A mosque official takes the temperature reading of a man entering the Cut Meutia mosque to attend a Friday prayer amid concerns of coronavirus outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, June 5, 2020. Muslims in Indonesia’s capital held their first communal Friday prayers as mosques closed by the coronavirus outbreak for nine weeks reopened at half capacity. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

LONDON — The U.K. has recorded the lowest daily rise in the number of coronavirus deaths since March, when the country imposed lockdown measures.

As of Sunday afternoon, official figures showed that a further 55 people died after testing positive with the virus. The total death toll rose to 40,597.

Scotland and Northern Ireland recorded no new deaths for the second day in a row.

Mondays typically see a lower death figure because of a delay in reporting over the weekend.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Worldwide virus deaths pass 400,000, according to Johns Hopkins tally.

— New Zealand says it has eradicated the virus.

— India eases lockdown even as virus cases jump in capital.

— Coronavirus disrupts global fight to save endangered species.

— Britain faces criticism for another sudden change in its advice on face masks: all hospital staff in England will wear surgical face masks beginning June 15 while visitors will need some sort of face covering.

— While seasonal colds and the flu spread through NFL locker rooms most years, many players polled by The Associated Press say they’re scared to return to work without a vaccine for the coronavirus.

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Go to https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreakfor updates throughout the day.

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:

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PHILADELPHIA — A dozen new coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia area have been traced to someone who attended gatherings at beach houses at the Jersey Shore, health officials said.

Eleven cases reported Saturday were linked to a New Jersey resident at gatherings in the past two weeks, Bucks County officials said. One case reported Friday also was traced to the person.

It’s an important reminder not to let one’s guard down at the beach, said Dr. David Damsker, health director of the large county, which borders Philadelphia to the south and New Jersey to the east. He did not disclose exactly where the gatherings took place.

The region’s mass transit system on Monday reinstated a requirement that passengers wear masks. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority had eased the requirement to a recommendation in April after a viral video showed a rider being dragged off a bus by police after boarding without a mask.

Employees will now remind riders of the requirement, SEPTA said.

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CHISINAU, Moldova — The government of Moldova says it has registered a record number of new cases of the new coronavirus during the first week of June, as a former health minister described the pandemic situation in the country as “out of control.”

One of the poorest countries in Europe and plagued by corruption and political turmoil, Moldova confirmed 1,449 new cases of COVID-19 during June 1-7, nearly 300 more than the previous week, according to data from the Ministry of Health. It was the fourth consecutive week with more than 1,000 new cases.

Since its first confirmed case on March 7, Moldova — population 3.5 million — has registered 9,700 cases and 346 deaths.

Former Health Minister Ala Nemerenco was very critical of the government’s handling of the pandemic.

“You don’t have to be an epidemiologist, a virologist, or even a doctor to understand that the situation has gotten out of control,” Nemerenco said in a Facebook post in reference to the rising number of cases.

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WARSAW, Poland — Polish authorities have ordered the closure of 12 coal mines for three weeks after hundreds of workers were infected with COVID-19.

The measure announced on Monday comes as coal mines in Poland’s southern mining region of Silesia have become hot spots for the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

Deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin said that the measure will take effect on Tuesday and is aimed at suppressing the epidemic. He added that the miners will continue to receive their full pay.

“It is very important for us not to punish the miners economically for the infections at mines that have made us take this decision,” Sasin told reporters.

In some other earlier cases, miners told not to work because of the epidemic saw their wages reduced, increasing their frustration ahead of a presidential election that is crucial to Poland’s governing conservatives.

Poland has so far recorded about 27,000 cases of coronavirus, which is far less than many other European countries. Yet nearly 5,000 of the confirmed cases are coal miners. That is an extremely high infection rate in the sector given that there are just 82,000 miners in the nation of 38 million people.

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish Airlines says it is offering a 40 percent discount on airfares for health care workers across the globe.

The national flag carrier said Monday the campaign was aimed at people “who are working selflessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.” Up to three people traveling with a health care worker would be able to benefit from the discount, the airline said.

The tickets must be purchased before Aug. 1 for flights before May 31, 2021.

Turkish airline companies resumed domestic flights last week. International flights are scheduled to resume gradually as of June 10.

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MOSCOW — The Russian capital is ending a tight lockdown that has been in place for more than two months, citing a slowdown in the coronavirus outbreak.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that starting Tuesday residents will no longer be required to obtain electronic passes for travel and can walk, use public transport and drive without any restrictions.

Hairdressers and beauty salons will be allowed to reopen Tuesday, and cafes and restaurants will be able to open outdoor terraces starting June 16.

Under the lockdown imposed in late March, all nonessential businesses were closed and residents were only allowed to shop at nearby stores and pharmacies, visit doctors and walk their dogs.

The restrictions have been gradually eased. Industrial plants and construction sites were allowed to start working on May 12 and non-food retailers were permitted to reopen last Monday.

The number of daily infections in Moscow has dropped from a peak of about 6,700 to about 2,000 recently. Overall, Russia has registered over 476,000 infections, the world’s third-highest caseload after the United States and Brazil, including 5,971 deaths.

Moscow has accounted for nearly half of the nation’s infections and coronavirus deaths. Many of Russia’s 85 regions already have eased their lockdowns.

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YEREVAN, Armenia — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian says he and his family have recovered from the coronavirus.

Pashinian said on Facebook that he and his family members tested negative Monday for a second time in as many days.

Pashinian announced that he was infected a week ago, adding that he probably contracted the virus from a waiter who brought him a glass a water at a meeting without wearing gloves and later tested positive for the virus.

Armenia has so far reported over 13,000 infections, including 211 deaths, among its population of nearly 3 million.

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — China has sent a 10-member team of physicians to Bangladesh to help hospitals and doctors fight coronavirus as the South Asian nation’s total infections are nearing 70,000.

The team consists of 10 respiratory physicians selected by the Hainan Provincial Health Commission in China, according to the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen was in Dhaka’s international airport to receive the team. He said the country was seeking “cooperation and partnership” to deal with the pandemic.

On Monday, the Health Directorate’s senior official said another 42 people died of coronavirus and 2,735 people were infected in the previous 24-hour period, raising the total infections to 68,504.

A total of 930 people have died since the first positive case was confirmed on March 8.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cypriot officials are warning against undue complacency in enforcing social distancing rules after video emerged of an open-air nightclub at a popular seaside resort jam-packed with patrons.

Cyprus police spokesman Christos Andreou told The Associated Press on Monday that the nightclub’s owner faces a charge of flouting maximum capacity limits set out under a Health Ministry order.

Andreou said police are taking the owner to court because he was repeatedly warned over the weekend not to exceed the allowable capacity. Andreou said police will also seek a court order to temporarily shut down the Ayia Napa establishment.

Justice Minister George Savvides posted on his official Twitter account on Sunday that the nightclub acted “inconceivably irresponsibly” for the sake of profit.

Earlier, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou also tweeted that such behavior could make a return to lockdown measures “inevitable.”

Cyprus is eager to get its key tourism sector back on track after a two-month lockdown, but officials say they won’t allow anyone to cut corners on what they need to do to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Commercial flights from a limited number of countries resume on Tuesday. Cyprus has lifted almost all restrictions, but a ban on indoor bar and nightclub openings remains in force.

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MOSCOW — Russia says it will partially reopen the country’s borders as the country eases coronavirus restrictions.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Monday that traveling abroad for the purposes of work, studying, receiving medical treatment or taking care of relatives will be allowed. He said Russia will let in foreigners seeking medical treatment or taking care of family members.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the partial reopening of the borders would go into effect.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters there is “no set date” yet for resuming international flights, which were halted in late March.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin called for gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, saying that Russia was able to slow down the epidemic.

The country’s health officials, however, have been reporting around 9,000 new infections daily since mid May and some experts are concerned that easing lockdown restrictions may be premature.

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LONDON — Travelers to Britain are now being required to go into quarantine for two weeks — a sweeping measure meant to halt the further spread of COVID-19.

Starting Monday, all passengers will be asked to fill in a form detailing where they will self-isolate, with only a few exceptions. Those who fail to comply with the quarantine rules could be fined.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary says the quarantine will cause “untold devastation” for the country’s tourism industry — not just on the airlines.

He told the BBC that hotels, visitor attractions and restaurants will also be hurt, and thousands of jobs will be lost.

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ATHENS, Greece — Bars, nightclubs and internet cafes are allowed to reopen from Monday in Greece, where an early lockdown is credited with keeping the number of coronavirus deaths and serious illnesses at low levels.

Nearly all lockdown measures have now been lifted in a phased reopening, with regulations in place for businesses to maintain limits on the number of customers allowed and distances to be maintained.

Most bars, nightclubs and restaurants operate outdoors in Greece during the summer months, which has helped authorities in allowing their reopening.

However, government and health authorities warn local lockdowns could be imposed if violations in social distancing regulations lead to outbreaks.

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NEW DELHI — India is reopening its restaurants, shopping malls and religious places in most states even as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country grows.

The Health Ministry reported another 9,983 cases Monday, raising India’s count past 256,000 to fifth most in the world. The 206 fatalities reported Monday were the highest single-day rise and takes the country’s death toll to 7,135.

New Delhi is also reopening its state borders, allowing interstate movement of people and goods.

India already partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen.

Schools remain closed.

The number of new cases has soared since the government began relaxing restrictions. There has also been a surge in infections in India’s vast countryside following the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns after losing their jobs.

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