The novel coronavirus continues to devastate countries in what is being observed as a second wave – the latest figures being well over 32 million total covid-19 cases and nearly a million deaths.
More disheartening than the fierce spread on coronavirus, is the resurgence of cases in countries which had the disease under control.
United Kingdom, the worst affected European country, had managed to control the covid-19 spread while keeping the R rate well below 1 up till September.
However, as the lockdown measures were eased out, cases began to rise. UK is now reporting over 6000 cases daily. Following the second wave, UK prime minister, Boris Johnson announced new measures on 22nd September to curtail the spread of covid-19 in the UK.
The guidelines urge people to work from home and has even imposed pub curfews while limiting attendance at weddings. However, a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said that the new measures may not suffice to prevent an exponential rise in covid-19 cases over the coming months.
Amidst the rising cases in UK, healthcare company Roche has announced that it will release rapid antigen tests capable of returning results within 30 minutes. These tests will be made available across Europe. This news comes as relief to the European region where countries are bracing for a second wave.
On the other side of the globe, New Zealand has eased mask rules. This comes after a drop in daily cases. However, it seems New Zealand is repeating history by easing rules while observing an intermittent relaxation among rising cases.
The citizens of NZ are happy with this ruling as reports suggest that they did not support the use of masks from the very beginning.
While most countries are seen taking an action of sorts to contain the virus, Indonesia has been facing its own dilemma. The health minister of the country Terawan Agus Putranto has been missing in action during the pandemic.
Officials involved in the pandemic response are puzzled about why Putranto remains at his post, particularly after a cabinet meeting in June concluded that only a tiny fraction of the annual health budget had been spent in the battle against coronavirus.