The Latest: UN says 1 billion students affected by closures
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July affecting more than 1 billion students.
In addition, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical pre-school year.”
As a result, he warned that the world faces “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”
“We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people,” Guterres said in a video message and a 26-page policy briefing. “The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come.”
Guterres called for the reopening of schools once the local transmission of the virus is under control.
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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The number of passengers on a Norwegian cruise ship who have tested positive for the coronavirus has reached 43, authorities said Tuesday.
The city of Trondheim reported the two new cases — a man in his 70s with light symptoms and a child under age 10 with no symptoms — saying both had been passengers on the MS Roald Amundsen. They were not identified.
Trondheim is about halfway to Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, where the empty ship is docked.
Since the cruise line often acts like a local ferry, traveling from port to port along Norway’s west coast, some passengers disembarked along the route and may have spread the virus to local communities.
The outbreak raised new questions about safety on cruise ships during the pandemic even as the industry is pressing to resume sailings after shutting down in March.
The ship’s owner on Monday halted all trips and Norway closed its ports to cruise ships for two weeks.
ALGIERS, Algeria — Algeria’s president has ordered the gradual reopening of mosques for the first time since March.
Algeria is still reporting hundreds of new infections daily but the government says the situation has stabilized.
President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered the government to work out a reopening plan for mosques and beaches, according to a statement read on state television. It will start with large mosques in big cities, where masks and social distancing measures will be required.
Algeria reported 507 new infections Monday, for a total of 31,000 cases. Algeria has reported the third-highest number of virus deaths in Africa since the pandemic began, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University, with 1,239 confirmed as of Monday.
NEW DELHI — India’s daily confirmed coronavirus infections have topped 50,000 for a seventh straight day.
Tuesday’s spike of 52,050 new positive cases recorded in the past 24 hours took the national total to 1,855,745, according to the Health Ministry database.
The ministry also reported 803 new deaths, taking total fatalities up to 38,938.
Several political leaders have either tested positive for the coronavirus or gone into quarantine over the last few days.
Since Sunday, India’s powerful home minister Amit Shah and the chiefs of two big states have been hospitalized with COVID-19. On Monday, Tripura state’s chief minister and India’s law and justice minister also went into isolation.
HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam has reported another virus death and 10 new infections.
The Health Ministry said a 62-year-old woman with kidney disease died Tuesday. The woman tested positive for the virus while having treatment at Da Nang hospital, one of three hospitals where a majority of new cases have been found recently.
According to the ministry, another 10 people from Da Nang and Quang Nam province have been tested positive with the virus. All of them are traced back to the hospital clusters.
Da Nang has mobilized the army to disinfect hot spots in the city. An army laboratory truck has also been deployed to increase the testing capacity.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has recorded 34 additional cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, as the number of its locally infected patients bounced back above 10.
The additional figures announced Tuesday brought the national tally to 14,423 with 301 deaths.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 13 of the newly reported cases are domestically transmitted patients while the rest 21 came from overseas.
BEIJING — Both mainland China and Hong Kong reported fewer new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as strict measures to contain new infections appear to be taking effect.
Mainland China announced 36 new cases across the country, down from 43 the previous day. Of those, 28 were in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and two in Liaoning province in the northeast.
Another six cases were brought by Chinese arriving from overseas. No new deaths were registered , leaving China’s total at 4,634 among 84,634 cases reported since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
Hong Kong reported 78 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the first time in almost two weeks that new cases had fallen into double-digits.
Authorities in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city ordered mask wearing in public places, restrictions on indoor dining and increased testing to contain the outbreak.
China’s central government also sent a medical team to assist in efforts and an exhibition center has been converted into a temporary hospital in the event beds run short. Deaths from the disease in Hong Kong have risen to 38 among 3,589 total cases.
MELBOURNE, Australia— Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state has banned people who should be self-isolating from exercising outside their homes and introduced tougher fines for people with COVID-19 who continue to go to work.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that military and health teams would repeatedly and randomly door-knock homes to ensure people who should be self-isolating were at home.
Teams had door-knocked more than 3,000 homes and could not find more than 800 people who should have been home because they were awaiting a test result or had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Andrews said the government was removing the lawful excuse that someone who should be self-isolating had gone out to exercise.
“It’s difficult to enforce this if people have a lawful excuse and if some people are going to use that to try and justify other decisions — they were at no point getting exercise,” Andrews said.
The government has also increased the fine for failing to self-isolate.
Victoria reported 439 new cases overnight and 11 new deaths.