Snippets15 July 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he favours making face masks mandatory in public indoor spaces to curtail the coronavirus pandemic, possibly starting on August 1.
"I would like to make masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces," he said in a televised interview, adding: "We have indications that (the outbreak) is accelerating a bit."
Iran reports 179 new virus deaths
Iran has reported 179 new deaths from the novel coronavirus as authorities announced a decision to once more shutter some businesses in the capital to contain the virus' resurgence.
The reimposition of restrictive measures comes after the government had progressively lifted them from April to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.
The one-week measure in Tehran includes the closure of gyms, pools, zoos and cafes, ISNA news agency quoted deputy Tehran governor Hamidreza Goudarzi as saying.
Africa's virus caseload climbs past 600,000
Africa's coronavirus caseload has climbed above 600,000 as the pandemic on the 54-nation continent continues to pick up speed.
Africa surpassed the half-million case mark less than a week ago. The continent now has more than 610,000 confirmed cases. South Africa has the most cases on the continent, with more than 287,000.
Israel confirms record-high 1,681 new cases
Israel's Health Ministry said the country confirmed 1,681 new coronavirus cases, a record high.
Israel was widely praised for taking swift action early in the pandemic by closing its borders and imposing other restrictions to contain the virus's spread. But since reopening the economy and schools in May following a more than month-long lockdown, the number of new cases has steadily increased.
Singapore enters recession with 41 percent contraction
Singapore's economy slipped into recession in the second quarter, contracting by a record 41.2 percent from the previous three months, and is facing its biggest slump ever this year as measures to contain the coronavirus hammered the trade-reliant country.
Economists polled by the Reuters news agency had expected a 37.4-percent slump, but the pandemic took a heavy toll on the construction sector, which plunged 95.6 percent.
Transparency concerns raised over India COVID-19 fund
Bejon Misra responded quickly to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal in March for donations to a new fund to strengthen the country's fight against the coronavirus.
The next day, the 69-year-old retired management professor made a donation. "It was a generous contribution because Modi is the face of it," Misra said.
Such trust in Modi is common in India, the prime minister enjoying a very high approval rating, despite coronavirus infections spiking in recent weeks.
Hong Kong reports 48 new coronavirus cases
Hong Kong has reported 48 new coronavirus cases, including 40 that officials said were transmitted locally, ahead of new social distancing measures due to come into force at midnight.
Tuesday's toll was slightly lower that Monday's 52 new cases but remained broadly in line with a recent sharp increase in the city.
Since late January, the global financial hub has reported more than 1,500 cases and eight deaths
Tokyo theatregoers asked to come forward for testing
Some 800 Tokyo theatregoers are being asked to come forward for testing after at least 20 coronavirus cases were traced back to a production involving a Japanese boy band.
Health officials are focusing on the Theatre Moliere, a 190-seat theatre in the Shinjuku area of the capital, which put on the show 'Werewolf' for six days earlier this month.
The first case was reported on July 6 and involved a cast member.