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COVID-19 pandemic shockwaves will be felt 'for decades': WHO

COVID-19 pandemic shockwaves will be felt 'for decades': WHO
The World Health Organisation has claimed that coronavirus pandemic shockwaves will be felt "for decades", as a top lawmaker has blasted the US government for failing to issue a comprehensive COVID-19 plan.
Pedestrians with and without face masks walk in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, USA. (Associated Press)

World Health Organisation

The head of the World Health Organisation is predicting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be felt for "decades to come".
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the coronavirus as a "once-in-a-century health crisis". Mr Tedros reconvened WHO's expert committee on Friday (local time) to consider what further recommendations are needed to stem the spread.
"Most of the world's people remain susceptible to this virus, even in areas that have experienced severe outbreaks," Mr Tedros said.
"Although vaccine development is happening at record speed, we must learn to live with this virus and we must fight it with the tools that we have."

USA

A top Democrat lawmaker has called on the Trump administration to release a comprehensive plan to combat the coronavirus, blasting the national response effort as the US death toll recently surpassed 150,000.
South Carolina Representative James Clyburn warned another 150,000 Americans could lose their lives "if we do not make drastic changes now". Mr Clyburn chairs the House subcommittee overseeing the COVID-19 response.
His Republican counterpart on the panel countered that thousands of lives could have been saved if governors had followed the Trump administration's guidelines.
It comes as the US government's top testing official claimed it was not possible to return all coronavirus test results to patients within three days because of overwhelming demand.
A health worker takes a swab for a COVID-19 test at a Primary Health Care Center in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Catalonia region, Spain. (Associated Press)
Admiral Brett Giroir told a congressional panel that eventually the US should achieve that time frame.
Many health experts say coronavirus results are not helpful when delivered after two or three days because the window for contact tracing has closed.
Meanwhile, top expert Dr Anthony Fauci has dismissed a tweet by Donald Trump claiming the US global lead in coronavirus cases is because of increased testing.
Responding to questioning by a House Democrat, Mr Fauci said the scale of the US outbreak is the result of multiple factors, including some states opened too quickly, disregarding federal guidelines.

Spain

Spain has reported 1525 new daily coronavirus cases Friday, the highest daily number since April 29.
Spain in mid-March went into a more than three-month lockdown as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths surged across the country. By the end of May, new daily infections had fallen to double digits.
The lockdown ended June 21, but the number of cases has rebounded. Since last Wednesday, cases have exceeded 1000 a day.
People wearing masks against the spread of the new coronavirus walk at Shibuya pedestrian crossing in Tokyo. (Associated Press)

Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expressing concern about the recent increase in coronavirus cases.
"We are very carefully watching the surge in infections," he said.
"First, we need to step up with tests."
Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki issued the region's own emergency declaration, with daily confirmed cases reaching a record 71 people Friday.
Reported cases nationwide reached a record 1463 people, topping the 1305 cases confirmed by the health ministry on Thursday.

Hong Kong

Beijing has announced it will send personnel to Hong Kong to assist in coronavirus testing and the building of treatment centres.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office say help will be sent to Hong Kong at the request of the city's government.
The personnel will help in large-scale testing and screening and assist in speeding up construction of temporary isolation and treatment facilities.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Friday (local time) that the government will postpone highly anticipated legislative elections by one year, citing a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. (Associated Press)

UK

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is postponing some planned measures to ease the lockdown because coronavirus cases are on the rise for the first time since May.
The government is scrapping plans to allow venues such as casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks to open on Monday. A plan to allow a limited number of fans back into sports stadiums is on hold.
Mr Johnson says the measures will be reviewed after two weeks.
He says a rule requiring face coverings worn in shops and on public transit will be extended to museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.

Italy

Italy's president says don't confuse freedom with the right to make others ill during the coronavirus pandemic.
President Sergio Mattarella issued the caution to citizens in a speech on Friday, a few days after Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli said he felt "humiliated" by Italy's lockdown and violated stay-at-home restrictions.
While describing the value of freedom as central to democracy, Mr Mattarella said one must consider "the duty to balance that with the value of life, avoiding confusing freedom with the right to make others sick".
Italy, once the epicentre of the coronavirus in Europe, has experienced increasing clusters of coronavirus cases after relaxing three months of a severe lockdown.
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