Sunday July 5th, 2020 12:31AM

The Latest: Czech Republic sees spike in new virus cases

By The Associated Press
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PRAGUE — The Czech Republic has been registering a steep increase of the number of people infected with the coronavirus.

The day-to-day increase reached 260 new confirmed cases on Saturday, up from 168 the previous day and 93 the day before.

It is the highest number of newly infected people since April 8. It comes amid the government’s easing of its restrictive measures and despite a typical lower number of tests over the weekend.

The Czech Republic has had 11,306 confirmed cases while 347 people have died, according to Health Ministry figures released on Sunday.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— China virus cases stabilize as Italy sees drop in deaths

— What to wear: Feds’ mixed messages on masks sow confusion

— Nurses, doctors feel strain as virus races through Arizona

— Vice President Mike Pence has called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona for this coming week as the states experience a surge in new coronavirus cases. The White House says Pence will still travel to those states to meet with their governors and health teams.

— European Union envoys are close to finalizing a list of countries whose citizens will be allowed back into Europe once it begins lifting coronavirus-linked restrictions. The United States appears almost certain not to make the list, as new infections surge and given that President Donald Trump has imposed a ban on European travelers.

— New Delhi’s acting health minister says the Indian capital is facing a shortage of “trained and experienced” health care workers.

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Follow all of AP's pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ROME — Italy is honoring its coronavirus dead with a Requiem concert performed in front of the cemetery in Bergamo, one of the hardest-hit provinces in the onetime epicenter of the European outbreak.

President Sergio Mattarella, the 243 mayors of cities in Bergamo province and a representative of families who lost loved ones have been invited to attend the evening concert, which is being transmitted live on RAI state television. It will feature the Requiem Mass composed by Bergamo native Gaetano Donizetti, one of Italy’s most important 19th century composers.

Bergamo recorded its first positive case Feb. 23 and by the end of March had registered a 571% increase in excess deaths compared to the five-year monthly average. Images in mid-March of an army convoy hauling caskets away because Bergamo’s cemeteries and crematoriums were full came to epitomize the horrific toll of the virus in Italy’s north.

Donizetti composed the unfinished Requiem to honor his friend and fellow composer, Vincenzo Bellini, who died in 1835. During the peak of the epidemic, Bergamo’s Donizetti Theater and the city government put on social media the recording of a 2017 performance of the Requiem Mass to honor the victims.

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NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi says India must focus on bolstering the economy as it exits the lockdown phase, even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

On Sunday, India reported additional 19,906 confirmed cases, taking the total to 528,859 with 16,095 deaths. It says 309,713 people have recovered.

Modi told a radio address that during the post-lockdown period, Indians have to stay more vigilant compared to the lockdown and only alertness can save them from the coronavirus.

He again urged people to wear a mask and observe social distancing norms and other precautions, or else would be putting others at risk, especially the elderly and children at home.

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BERLIN — Swiss authorities say they’ve ordered 300 people into quarantine after a so-called “superspreader” outbreak of the new coronavirus at a Zurich nightclub.

Zurich officials said in a statement that a man who had been at the Flamingo Club a week ago tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, and that five people who were with him there were then tested and also were positive and reported to authorities on Friday.

Working from a list of guests provided by the club, officials were then able to get in touch with the others who were there and ordered them into quarantine on Saturday for 10 days in order to try and stop any further spread of the virus as they are tested.

Swiss officials say the incident shows how important it is to stick to hygiene and distance regulations as lockdown measures are gradually lifted. They say if there are more superspreader type events in clubs they will have to resort to closing such facilities again.

Like many European countries, Switzerland had drastically reduced the number of new coronavirus infections, and is now starting to see a slight uptick as it tries to restart its economy.

In its latest report posted Sunday, Switzerland reported 69 new cases overnight from Friday to Saturday for a total of 31,555 cases; 1,681 people have died.

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s minister for science and technology says the country has started producing locally designed ventilators, as authorities reported 83 more deaths from the coronavirus.

In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said the first home-made ventilators will be handed over to the national disaster management agency soon. The announcement comes days after Pakistan said it was racing against time to arrange for 1,500 more ventilators as part of a contingency plan.

Currently, 1,503 ventilators are available at government hospitals treating COVID-19 patients.

Pakistan on Sunday reported 4.072 new cases of the coronavirus, taking the total to 202,955 with 4,118 deaths.

Pakistan has witnessed a spike in new infections since last month, when Prime Minister Imran Khan lifted lockdown, saying it was necessary to save the economy.

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BEIJING — China is reporting 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, all but three of them from domestic transmission in Beijing, which has seen a recent spike in coronavirus infections.

But authorities in the Chinese capital say a campaign to conduct tests on employees at hair and beauty salons across the city has found no positive cases so far, in a further sign that the recent outbreak has been largely brought under control.

No new deaths were reported Sunday, leaving China’s reported total at 4,634 among 83,500 confirmed cases.

Tens of millions of Chinese traveled during the three-day Dragon Boat Festival that ended Saturday, but anti-crowding measures were in force nationwide. Tourist sites were required to cap visitor numbers at 30% of capacity.

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HONOLULU -- The city of Honolulu has announced that campgrounds will reopen for the first time in three months with limited permits to ensure social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hawaii News Now reported that the city will issue permits for just over 100 campsites across Oahu.

Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Nathan Serota says campsites were limited to physically distance. Regular camp rules still apply.

The Bellows Beach campground northeast of Honolulu will remain closed through Sept. 4 for turtle nesting. All the other campgrounds have reopened.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Data show hundreds of new infections in densely populated neighborhoods that are more likely home to low-income residents in one California county.

Orange County health officials say residents living certain parts of Anaheim and Santa Ana are more likely to live in multi-generational or multifamily households and many of them hold jobs in stores and restaurants.

Cases and hospitalizations in the county have grown significantly in the last couple weeks, reflecting a statewide trend that prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom this week to sound renewed alarm bells. He urged Imperial County to reimpose a stay-at-home order to deal with a high rate of positive cases and hospitalizations.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas on Saturday reported 570 more cases of the coronavirus and 10 more deaths.

The Arkansas Department of Health said that there are now 19,310 reported cases in the state.

The state’s total deaths from COVID-19, the illness the coronavirus causes, is now at 259.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he’s pausing moving counties to the fourth phase of his reopening plan as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

Inslee made the announcement Saturday with state Secretary of Health John Weisman.

Inslee says the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the state makes it impossible to move to phase four, which would have meant basically no restrictions.

A tally from Johns Hopkins University shows Washington had more than 30,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. More than 480 new cases were reported on Friday.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Tyson Foods has announced that 371 employees at its chicken processing plant in the far southwestern corner of Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19.

The company said in a news release Friday that it tested 1,142 employees at the plant in Noel from June 17 to June 19, and 291 tested positive for COVID-19. Of those 291, Tyson said 249, or 85%, were asymptomatic. Tyson said an additional 80 Noel employees tested positive for COVID-19 in separate tests that were performed by their health care providers or the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services.

The announcement confirms suspicions that the large spike in McDonald County’s reported COVID-19 numbers starting this past weekend was the result of large-scale testing at the plant, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

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BRASILIA, Brazil -- The Brazilian government announced on Saturday an agreement with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce a promising coronavirus vaccine that is undergoing tests.

Brazilian Health Ministry authorities said in a press conference that the country will pay $127 million and receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches in December and January, which would allow it to quickly start inoculation efforts if the vaccine is certified to be safe and effective.

The total deal is for 100 million vaccines for a country of about 210 million residents. It will be produced by local vaccine maker Fiocruz.

British researchers started testing the experimental shot in May aiming to immunize more than 10,000 people, including older people and children. The vaccine is one of about a dozen in the early stages of human testing.

Brazil, where coronavirus infections are still on the rise, counts more than 1 million confirmed cases and more than 55,900 fatalities.

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WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is calling off a planned bus tour in Florida to benefit his and President Donald Trump’s re-election as the state experiences a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases.

Pence is still traveling to the state, the White House confirmed, saying he will meet with Gov. Ron DeSantis and his health care teams.

Pence said Friday during a briefing by the White House’s coronavirus task force that he would visit Florida, Texas and Arizona this week to receive a “ground report” on spiking cases of COVD-19 across the sunbelt.

Pence was to appear in Lake Wales at an event organized by pro-Trump group America First Policies billed as the “Great American Comeback tour.” The group announced that “Out of an abundance of caution at this time, we are postponing the Great American Comeback tour stop in Florida. We look forward to rescheduling soon.”

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