South Africa relaxes COVID-19 restrictions: Live updates

2020-08-18 16:12:58
South Africa relaxes COVID-19 restrictions: Live updates

South Africa relaxes lockdown restrictions allowing bars, restaurants, gyms and places of worship to reopen.

The WHO says younger people - those in their 20s, 30s and 40s - are the ones now driving the coronavirus pandemic and many don't know they have the virus.

Hopes are growing in Australia that a second wave outbreak in Victoria may finally be easing after the state reported the lowest number of daily cases in a month.

New Zealand has ruled out frozen food and freight as the origin of the coronavirus outbreak that pushed Auckland back into lockdown.

The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world now exceeds 21.8 million, and more than 774,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 13.9 million people have recovered from the disease.

Here are the latest updates.

Tuesday, August 18

11:25 GMT - Study links COVID-19 to rise in childhood type 1 diabetes

Cases of type 1 diabetes among children in a small UK study almost doubled during the peak of Britain's COVID-19 epidemic, suggesting a possible link between the two diseases that needs more investigation, scientists said on Tuesday.

While the study is based on only a handful of cases, it is the first to link COVID-19 and new-onset type 1 diabetes in children, and doctors should be on the look-out, the Imperial College London researchers said.

"Our analysis shows that during the peak of the pandemic the number of new cases of type 1 diabetes in children was unusually high in two of the hospitals (we studied) compared to previous years," said Karen Logan, who co-led the study.

"When we investigated further, some of these children had active coronavirus or had previously been exposed to the virus," Logan said.

Logan said previous reports from China and Italy had noted that children were being diagnosed in hospitals with new-onset type 1 diabetes during the pandemic.

10:30 GMT - South Africa eases coronavirus restrictions

South Africa, which had one of the world’s strictest anti-coronavirus lockdowns for five months, relaxed its restrictions on Tuesday in response to a decrease in new cases.

The country loosened its regulations to permit the sales of alcohol and cigarettes, and the reopening of bars, restaurants, gyms and places of worship, all limited to no more than 50 people.

Schools will reopen gradually starting August 24.

09:55 GMT - Philippines reports 4,836 new coronavirus cases

The Philippines' health ministry on Tuesday confirmed 4,836 novel coronavirus infections, the seventh straight day of reporting more than 3,000 cases, and seven additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases had increased to 169,213, while deaths had reached 2,687.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday eased the strict coronavirus lockdown in the capital Manila and nearby provinces to reopen the economy and help struggling businesses, despite the country having the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia.

09:20 GMT - French side Marseille confirm three more coronavirus cases

Olympique Marseille have confirmed three more cases of coronavirus at the club, taking the total to four before the team are due to open the new Ligue 1 season at home to St Etienne on Friday.

Marseille said in a statement Tuesday that testing on Monday did not reveal new cases but confirmed three suspected cases from Sunday.

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