At least 74 people were arrested on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia during the second day of anti-lockdown protests, according to Victoria Police.
The police issued at least 176 infringement notices for breaching the Chief Health Officer directions, Victoria Police told Bioreports in a statement.
Lockdown in the state is set to start easing on Sunday night.
“Police were disappointed that many protesters were aggressive and threatened violence towards officers,” the statement said.
Police said a 44-year-old man believed to be a “primary agitator” for the protests remains in police custody and is expected to be charged with incitement. His home will also be subject to a search warrant, police said.
Video of the demonstrations showed police in riot gear arresting protesters in the streets while onlookers chanted “freedom.”
As of Sunday, Victoria has 19,835 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 723 deaths.
The Australian state of Victoria will begin slowly lifting certain coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Sunday night as new infection numbers continue to drop, according to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
“From 11.59 p.m. Melbourne moves from Stage Four to the First Step of the roadmap for reopening, with modest changes including more social interaction and more time outside,” Andrews said in a statement.
In Melbourne, playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment will reopen, outdoor exercise time will be extended to two hours split over a maximum of two sessions, and those living alone or single parents will be allowed to have one other person in their home, according to Andrews.
Outside of Melbourne, regional Victoria will move from stage three restrictions to the second step of the roadmap, which allows up to five people from a maximum of two households to gather in outdoor public places. “Outdoor pools and playgrounds in regional Victoria will also open. And religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people, plus a faith leader,” the statement said.
Victoria’s state of emergency and state of disaster, however, will be extended for four more weeks.
“The State of Emergency ensures we have all the tools we need to fight this virus – keeping all of us safe,” Andrews said.
Victoria recorded 41 new Covid-19 cases and 7 deaths on Saturday, down from its peak of 686 new daily cases in early August.
Six students at Miami University in Ohio were cited for violating a city ordinance on mass gatherings after they held a house party despite at least one of them testing positive for Covid-19, according to police records.
Body camera video from the Oxford Police Department shows an officer approaching a group of men gathered on the porch of a home near the university’s campus on September 5, asking them who lives there.
One student replies that eight people lived in the house and that at the time about 20 people were inside. Both indoor and outdoor mass gatherings in Oxford involving people who don’t live together are limited to 10 people, per the city’s ordinance.
The officer tells the student to disperse the crowd gathered at the house, and eventually asks to see his ID. After scanning it, he calls the student over.
“I’ve never seen this before, there’s an input on the computer that you tested positive for Covid?” the officer asks.
“Yes,” the student answered, adding “This was, um, a week ago.”
The officer asks the student whether he was supposed to be quarantining, and the student said that’s why he was at home.
“Do you have other people here and you’re positive for Covid? You see the problem?” the officer asks.
Other people at the house had also tested positive for the virus, the student told the officer.
Six people, five of whom lived at the house, were issued a citation, according to the police report. The Oxford Police Department told Bioreports in an email that fines for the citations start at $500.
Five of those cited are listed in Miami University’s web directory as students. The police report indicates that the sixth person identified himself as a student who had moved in with his parents and was visiting for the weekend.
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Doctors have warned that bad air quality stemming from smoke produced by the wildfires ravaging Western states could make people more vulnerable to coronavirus infections.
“Multiple studies have shown a correlation between higher levels of pollution in the air and greater spread and severity of Covid-19 cases,” said Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer of the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, citing several studies conducted in the United States, China and Italy.
“Some studies have also shown that exposure of lung tissue to pollution may increase susceptibility to viral infections.”
What’s the reason for this? Smoke from wildfires can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation that can affect the immune system, said Dr. Rekha Murthy, an infectious disease specialist at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. That inflammation can make people more at risk of lung infections.
“Whenever the lining of the lung or the airways become inflamed or damaged, it increases the potential for inhaled viral particles to take hold in the lungs and cause infection,” Murthy said.
There are also concerns that smoke-filled air will drive coronavirus-positive people indoors, Bioreports medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said. That, she said, could potentially increase the spread of the virus.
“We know being outdoors versus indoors reduces the rate of transmission … but now people are being told you have to go indoors because you don’t want to breathe in the air that could cause respiratory issues,” she said. “But you don’t want to be indoors with other individuals and have a higher rate of contracting Covid-19… so, it’s really a catch-22.”
To prevent the possible spread of coronavirus during the intense fire season, those remaining indoors due to poor air quality should stay away from anyone who is not in their immediate household, Wen said.
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Japan recorded 649 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing its total caseload to 75,980, the Japanese Health Ministry reported Sunday.
The country also reported 16 new deaths on Saturday. So far, 1,451 people have died from the coronavirus in Japan, and 190 patients remain critically ill with the virus, according to the ministry.
Japan has been grappling with a second wave of infections since July, with more than 1,000 cases recorded daily during its peak in August.
Its capital Tokyo is among the worst-hit cities. On Saturday, Tokyo recorded 226 new cases, bringing the city’s total number of infections to 22,857.
India reported more than 94,000 new coronavirus cases Sunday morning, making it the fourth day in a row the country has seen more than 90,000 new cases.
According to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the country recorded 94,551 new Covid-19 cases and 1,114 new deaths due to the virus.
As per the official data, India has recorded a total of 4,754,356 coronavirus cases including 78,586 deaths since the pandemic began.
Of the total cases in India, 3,702,595 patients have recovered while 973,175 are still infected due to the virus.
India reported 97,570 new coronavirus cases Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare — the third day in a row the country has set a global record for daily infections.
India’s total number of confirmed cases stands at 4.65 million, of which about 958,316 are active. The total number of recovered patients stands at more than 3.6 million.
The nationwide death toll is 77,472, according to the health ministry.
The ministry also reported 1,091,251 Covid-19 tests were performed Friday, bringing the country’s total number of tests to 55,189,226.
India is the second-worst hit country in terms of total cases, behind only the United States.
The health department in Ingham County, Michigan, has “strongly” recommended that all local Michigan State University students “self-quarantine immediately to contain a Covid-19 outbreak.”
There are at least 342 individuals affiliated with the university who have tested positive for the virus since August 24.
At least a third of new cases are individuals who recently attended parties or social gatherings, and at least a third of those gatherings are associated with a fraternity or sorority, the health department said Saturday in a statement.
Only 23 university-affiliated people tested positive for the virus in the three weeks before the case surge. The increase in cases began as students returned to East Lansing for their fall semester.
“Although MSU classes are predominately online, many students had binding off-campus leases or simply desired to physically return to the university community,” the statement said. “Self-quarantine should last for 14 days, continuing until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, September 26. This recommendation is not an emergency order; however, more stringent and mandatory restrictions will be imposed if students do not comply and break the transmission cycle.”
Nadhim Shaker, one of Iraq’s most famous soccer stars in the 1970s and 1980s, has died in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil from Covid-19, health officials told Bioreports on Saturday.
Shaker, 63-years-old, who was one of the most talented defenders in Iraqi football history and a former Iraq national team coach, died in a local hospital on Friday.
“Iraqi sport has lost one of its bright symbols, who presented achievements to the homeland, worked hard to develop the sport, and spread joy in Iraqis’ hearts.” Iraqi President Barham Salih tweeted Saturday.
Iraq has recorded 286,778 coronavirus cases and 7,941 virus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.