India on Monday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus deaths, the most the country has recorded in a single day since the pandemic began.
The new toll put India’s total at 44,386 deaths, trailing only the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Britain.
The country has also reported more confirmed new cases than any other in the world for six consecutive days, including 62,000 on Monday.
Australia reported its own deadliest day with 19 new deaths, while the center of the country’s outbreak, the state of Victoria, saw some decline in its number of new cases.
“Sadly, when it comes to the fatalities that result from COVID, that reflects a situation of several weeks ago now as the virus has taken its course with these particular individuals, the work continues,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters Monday. “We look for better news when it comes to the stabilizing of cases in Victoria. I am more hopeful of that today than I was in the course of the past week over the briefings I have received over the course of the weekend and again this morning.”
China’s National Health Commission said Monday there were 14 new locally transmitted cases, all of which were in the northwestern Xinjiang region that is the country’s current hotspot. China also had 35 imported cases from travelers arriving from overseas.
In response to a rise in infections, authorities in Paris imposed a one-month order starting Monday requiring people to wear masks in popular outdoor areas such as along the banks of the River Seine.
Paris joins other French cities with similar orders in place, including Toulouse, Lille and Bairritz. Those caught violating the Paris order face a fine of about $160, while those caught three times could face up to six months in prison.
Students in Germany’s capital return to school Monday as government leaders try to figure out the best way to keep children and staff members safe from the coronavirus.
“There are conflicting priorities, health protection on the one hand, which is very important to us, and on the other hand that we want to ensure the right to education of every single child,” German education minister Sandra Scheeres said.
She said keeping students 1.5 meters apart while inside a school is sometimes impossible.
Scheeres recommends that schools divide pupils into groups and keep them separate. If anyone were to test positive for the coronavirus, only that person and their cluster would need to be quarantined instead of everyone.
The central government will require students and teachers to wear masks in the hallways but will not require them in classroom instruction or on playgrounds.
Many other countries are also struggling to decide how and when to reopen schools.
President Donald Trump has been pushing for all U.S. schools to reopen for in-person learning. But many states say they aren’t ready and plan to begin the school year at the end of this month the same way they ended the old one in June – using virtual classrooms.
Last week a photograph of a crowded hallway in a Georgia school showed only a few students wearing masks. The school was closed and students were sent home for online classes after nine students tested positive for the coronavirus.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned last week of a possible “generational catastrophe” in education because of shuttered schools. He urged countries to make reopening schools a top priority once the coronavirus crisis subsides.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an article in the Daily Mail newspaper that the country has a moral duty to reopen schools.
He said restarting schools is a national priority and a social and economic necessity.
Johnson asserted that British schools can operate safely and has previously said schools would be the last places to close if there is another COVID-19 shutdown.
The British school year is set to start in early September.
Source: Voice of America