WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has reported two new cases of the coronavirus as a trickle of infected people continue to arrive at the border.

The country of 5 million people now has nine active cases after having none at all earlier this month.

Health officials said Monday that all those cases involve people who have recently arrived and are in quarantine, and there’s no evidence of community transmission.

Still, many remain anxious community transmission could return, especially after health officials admitted making a mistake by allowing two women who had arrived from London to leave quarantine before they had been tested because a parent was dying. The women later tested positive and have since isolated themselves.

The latest two cases involve people returning from India and Pakistan.

White House adviser calls virus ‘product of the Chinese Communist Party’

WASHINGTON — White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is calling the coronavirus a “product of the Chinese Communist Party” and suggesting without evidence it may have been intentionally created by the Chinese government.

Navarro says on CNN’s “State of the Union” that it remains unclear how the virus started and “until we get some information about what happened in those labs or what happened in that wet market, we know that the virus was spawned in China.”

President Donald Trump and his allies have been repeating the unsubstantiated theory linking the outbreak’s origin to a possible accident at a Chinese virology laboratory. U.S. officials describe the evidence as purely circumstantial.

The leading theory is that infection among humans began at an animal market in Wuhan.

Navarro says it’s “open question” whether the virus was purposefully created. He says in his view, the Chinese government is “guilty until proven innocent.”

Florida reports 3,500 more cases

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida has reported nearly 3,500 more new coronavirus cases as public health officials reissued advisories urging social distancing.

Some businesses are reevaluating decisions to reopen their doors, and some Floridians had to rethink Father’s Day brunch plans because of health concerns.

The number of new cases reported Sunday was a drop from the record high of 4,000 reported the day before.

Florida now has more than 97,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in all. The number of COVID-19 deaths eclipsed 3,160 with the addition of 17 more announced by health officials on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the infection rate remains high, with nearly 12% of recent tests coming back from laboratories as positive.

Despite rising cases in recent days, Gov. Ron DeSantis has not signaled the possibility of any retreat from reopening the state after three months of closures.

Arizona reaches 50,000 total cases

PHOENIX — The U.S. state of Arizona has now passed the 50,000 mark in confirmed COVID-19 cases after reporting 2,952 new ones.

The additional cases reported by the state Department of Health Services on Sunday took Arizona’s statewide total in the coronavirus pandemic to 52,390.

Health officials also reported one more known death, pushing the statewide death toll so far to 1,339.

The state’s recent surge in new confirmed cases has set daily records for hospitalizations, ventilator use and use of intensive care beds for coronavirus patients.

Arizona reported record new cases numbering 3,109 on Saturday, 3,246 on Friday and 2,519 on Thursday. Health officials have attributed the increases to wider testing and to community spread of the virus.

White House adviser says Trump call for slower testing was tongue in cheek

WASHINGTON — White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says U.S. President Donald Trump was being “tongue in cheek” when he claimed at a campaign rally in Oklahoma that he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing.

Navarro said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump made the comment in a “light moment.”

During Saturday’s rally in Tulsa, Trump explained that the “bad part” of widespread testing is that it leads to logging more virus cases. New cases have recently spiked in several U.S. states, but not just due to testing.

The United States has tested over 25 million people for the novel coronavirus. The country has reported more than 2.2 million confirmed cases and about 120,000 COVID-19 deaths. according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. The real numbers are believed to be higher.

In response to Trump’s remarks, Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden criticized Trump for putting politics ahead of the safety and health of Americans.

No new cases in Scotland, Northern Ireland

LONDON — No new coronavirus deaths have been recorded in Scotland or Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, according to official figures, more evidence that the spread of COVID-19 is slowing in the U.K.

The government said Sunday that 43 deaths were recorded in all settings across the U.K. in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s official pandemic death toll to 42,632.

The daily COVID-19 mortality figure is one of the country’s lowest on record, though numbers often fall on weekends because of delays in registering deaths.

The British government says it will lay out this week its plans for the next stage in lifting a nationwide lockdown, which could see cafes, restaurants and pubs in England reopen on July 4.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the government is likely to ease a rule requiring people to stay 2 meters (6 ½ feet) apart, something that would help venues reopen. Hancock said it might be possible for people to be closer if they took other measures, such as wearing face masks.

Chinese customs blocks some Tyson poultry imports

BEIJING — The Chinese customs agency has suspended poultry imports from a Tyson Co. facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees.

The announcement Sunday gave no details of the facility’s location or how much meat might be affected.

Meanwhile, a PepsiCo Inc. facility in Beijing suspended production and was disinfected after a confirmed case was found there June 15, the company announced Sunday at a news conference held by the city government. It said 480 people were placed in isolation June 15 and tested negative for the coronavirus.

Spain has reopened its borders for European tourists

MADRID — Spain’s national state of emergency has ended after three months of restrictions on movement to rein in its COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Sunday, 47 million Spaniards will be able to freely move around the entire country for the first time since the government declared a state of emergency on March 14. The lockdown measures have been rolled back gradually over recent weeks.

“This freedom that we now have, that we don’t have to justify our journey to see our family and friend, this was something that we were really looking forward to,” 23-year-old Pedro Delgado said at Madrid’s airport.

Travelers from European countries, including Britain, can also enter Spain now without having to quarantine for 14 days. That quarantine rule still applies to non-Schengen countries, except for the U.K. Spain is hoping it can save part of its summer tourist season, which provides a huge part of its economic activity.

Spaniards are still obliged to wear face masks both indoors and outside when in public spaces where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) from others. Regional governments are now in complete charge of putting limits on attendance in public places, from theaters, to weddings, to classrooms.

Spain’s lockdown succeeded in stopping the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, which authorities say has claimed at least 28,000 lives in the country.

Comedian DL Hughley tests positive after fainting onstage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Comedian D.L. Hughley announced he tested positive for COVID-19 after collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee.

The stand-up comedian, 57, lost consciousness while performing at the Zanies comedy nightclub on Friday night and was hospitalized, news outlets reported. On Saturday, Hughley posted a video on Twitter in which he said he was treated for exhaustion and dehydration afterward.

“I also tested positive for COVID-19, which blew me away,” he says in the video. “I was what they call asymptomatic. I didn’t have any symptoms, the classic symptoms.”

Hughley plans to quarantine in his Nashville hotel room for 14 days. The remaining two nights of his four-night engagement at Zanies were canceled, according to the club’s online calendar.

Read the rest of the story here.

Pope backs environment cleanups during pandemic

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is encouraging grass-roots movements to protect the environment after coronavirus lockdowns have “revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise.”

Francis, speaking to a few hundred people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, encouraged initiatives to care for the planet that began as a result of the pandemic, such as one on Sunday to clean up the banks of the Tiber River in Rome.

Francis has made environmental protection a hallmark of his papacy and just this past week, the Vatican released a guide on implementing his 2015 encyclical “Praised Be,” which blamed wealthy countries and corporate interests for destroying the Earth in search of profit.

Scientists around the world are studying the effects of lockdowns and industrial shutdowns on air and sea pollution as well as wildlife.

Airline in Bangladesh resumes international flights

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s state-run airline resumed international flights on Sunday after a suspension of more than two months due to the coronavirus.

Tahera Khandaker, a spokesperson for Biman Bangladesh Airlines, said a flight carrying 187 passengers left Dhaka for London on Sunday afternoon. She said a scheduled flight will leave Dhaka every week on Sundays and another will depart London for Dhaka on Mondays.

Bangladesh has confirmed 112,306 cases of the virus, including 1,464 deaths.

Spain’s national state of emergency ends

MADRID — Spain’s national state of emergency has ended after three months of restrictions on movement to rein in its COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Sunday, 47 million Spaniards will be able to freely move around the entire country for the first time since the government declared a state of emergency on March 14. The lockdown measures have been rolled back gradually over recent weeks.

“This freedom that we now have, that we don’t have to justify our journey to see our family and friend, this was something that we were really looking forward to,” 23-year-old Pedro Delgado said at Madrid’s airport.

Travelers from European countries, including Britain, can also enter Spain now without having to quarantine for 14 days. That quarantine rule still applies to non-Schengen countries, except for the U.K. Spain is hoping it can save part of its summer tourist season, which provides a huge part of its economic activity.

Spaniards are still obliged to wear face masks both indoors and outside when in public spaces where it is impossible to guarantee a distance of 1.5 meters (5 feet) from others. Regional governments are now in complete charge of putting limits on attendance in public places, from theaters, to weddings, to classrooms.

Spain’s lockdown succeeded in stopping the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus, which authorities say has claimed at least 28,000 lives in the country.

Pakistan will reopen border crossing

ISLAMABAD— Pakistan says it will reopen a key border crossing with Afghanistan to allow trade between the neighbors.

Trucks carrying fruits, vegetables and other items will start crossing the Ghulam Khan border in northwestern North Waziristan district from Monday.

Pakistan has already reopened its border with Iran.

On Sunday, Pakistan reported 119 more COVID-19 deaths and 4,951 new cases, raising its total to 176,617 cases including 3,501 fatalities.

Pakistan put its entire population of 220 million in lockdown in March, but the government last month eased restrictions, saying it was necessary to save the economy even though cases went up.

China reports 25 new cases

BEIJING — Chinese authorities reported 25 new confirmed cases — 22 in Beijing and three in neighboring Hebei province.

They say 2.3 million people have been tested in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital that led to the closure of its biggest wholesale food market.

China, where the outbreak began in December, had eased controls on travel and business as new cases fell. But monitoring and some other restrictions have been reimposed following the recent jump in infections.

The Beijing health commission gave no details of where the latest cases might have originated. The Chinese capital’s biggest wholesale food market was closed June 13 after dozens of people who worked there tested positive.

The agency in charge of the Ming Tombs, a tourist site northwest of Beijing, said indoor areas will be closed as a safety precaution. Visitors are allowed in outdoor areas but are required to wear masks and be checked for fever.

South Korea still struggling with resurgence

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea continues to struggle to contain a resurgence in the coronavirus that has seen some of the country’s hard-won pandemic gains erased since social distancing rules were eased in mid-April.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 48 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the national caseload to 12,421 infections, with 280 deaths.

The agency says 24 of the new cases are in the Seoul region, which has been the center of the country’s outbreak since late May. Ten of the new cases, however, are from the central city of Daejeon, indicating the virus is beginning to spread more broadly.

Some experts say the country should reimpose stronger social distancing guidelines, but officials are reluctant to do so in fear of hurting an already fragile economy.

Trump says he deliberately slowed down testing

TULSA, Okla. — President Trump is suggesting to supporters that he has told members of his administration to slow the rate of coronavirus testing in the United States.

Speaking at a campaign rally Saturday night in Oklahoma, Trump said the United States has tested 25 million people, and far more than any other country. He also told the crowd that more testing leads to finding more cases of people who test positive.

Trump said that “so I said to my people slow the testing down, please.”

Oklahoma passes 10,000 confirmed infections as rally goes on

TULSA, Okla.— Teams of people wearing goggles, masks, gloves and blue gowns checked the temperatures of those entering the area where President Donald Trump is to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma..

The Trump campaign had pledged to conduct temperature checks as rally-goers entered and to offer face masks. Some of the people entering wore masks while their temperatures were checked with handheld thermometers that appeared not to touch the skin.

Oklahoma’s health department on Saturday reported 331 new virus cases to bring the total number of confirmed cases to 10,037, with 368 deaths due to COVID-19. The actual number is likely higher because many people have not been tested.

Tulsa County has both the most confirmed cases and virus-related deaths in Oklahoma. Trump’s rally is taking place at a 19,000-seat indoor arena in the city of Tulsa.

Tulsa Health Department director Bruce Dart had said he would have liked to see the rally postponed, noting that large indoor gatherings are partially to blame for the recent spread of the virus in Tulsa and Tulsa County.

South Africa announces nearly 5,000 new cases

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa has announced nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases for a new daily record.

The country has recorded a total of 92,000 confirmed cases as of Saturday, which is about 30% of all cases across the African continent. More than half of South Africa’s cases are in Western Cape province and centered on the city of Cape Town.

But more than one-fifth are in Gauteng province, home to the economic hub of Johannesburg and to the South African capital of Pretoria.

Even as cases rise, President Cyril Ramaphosa this week announced a further loosening of what once was one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

Casinos, beauty salons and sit-down restaurant service are among the latest businesses to be up and running again as South Africa’s feels the pain of the pandemic’s economic impact.

Spain drops quarantine requirement for British travelers

MADRID — Spain’s government is dropping the country’s 14-day quarantine requirement for British visitors when citizens of countries that are in Europe’s Schengen Area zone will be allowed to freely enter.

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya told the BBC on Saturday: “We are doing this out of the respect for the 400,000 British citizens who have a second residence in Spain.”

González Laya says she hopes the British government will likewise drop the quarantine requirement for Spanish citizens traveling to the U.K.. Some 250,000 Spaniards have homes in the U.K., she said.

Spain’s three-month-long state of emergency over the coronavirus is ending on Sunday, which is when people from Schengen Area countries will be allowed into Spain without having to quarantine.

Face masks, however, will still be mandatory along with some other rules decided by regional authorities.

British travelers provide a big part of Spain’s tourism sector, which has been especially hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The U.K. wasn’t part of the Schengen Area even before it left the European Union on Jan. 31.


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