Global coronavirus deaths pass 650,000
PARIS—Officials around the world reintroduced a raft of restrictions Monday — from beach closures to quarantine measures—to try to tamp down coronavirus hot spots as the official global death toll passed 650,000.
European countries trying to repair the economic damage caused by the earlier lockdowns struggled to balance keeping the lifeline of tourism open while guarding against new flare-ups of infection.
Spain’s tourism industry faced fresh misery after British travelers — and one major tour operator — canceled flights there following London’s decision to reintroduce quarantine for travelers returning from the country.
Hong Kong mandated wearing masks in public in response to a new wave of infections.
Belgium tightened its social distancing measures to try to halt what one expert called a “worrying” surge in cases.
In Washington, meanwhile, the White House announced that another senior administration figure, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, had contracted the virus.
As of Monday evening, the United States, the worst-hit nation in the world, had added another 57,000 cases of infection and its recorded death toll stood at 147,588, Johns Hopkins University said.
Until Sunday, the number of US daily infections had exceeded 60,000 for 12 straight days, with some days notching more than 70,000 new cases.
But as the grim figures kept rolling in, the World Health Organization (WHO) argued against a wholesale closing of borders.
This was “not necessarily a sustainable strategy for the world’s economy, for the world’s poor, or for anybody else,” said WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan.
A “global one-size-fits-all policy” was impossible because outbreaks were developing differently in different countries, he added.
The WHO said its emergency committee would meet later this week to discuss the crisis, six months after the organization declared the pandemic an international public health emergency.
The global death toll from the pandemic passed 650,000 Monday, nearly a third of that number in Europe, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) tally compiled from official sources.
Since emerging in China late last year, the virus has killed a total of 650,011 people — but more than 100,000 deaths have been recorded since July 9, and the global toll has doubled in just over two months.
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