How the world is coping with coronavirus this week:
After months of strict lockdowns and closed borders to combat the coronavirus pandemic, Fiji’s prime minister has announced his country will open its doors again—to billionaires. Voreqe Bainimarama said Fiji wanted to attract “VIPs” to help restore its paralyzed economy which is dependent on tourism. “Say you’re a billionaire looking to fly your own jet, rent your own island, and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process—if you’ve taken all the necessary health precautions and borne all associated costs, you may have a new home to escape the pandemic in paradise,” Bainimarama wrote in a tweet. (Cook Islands News)
Masks will become mandatory in certain places in Iran starting July 5th, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said. In addition, the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed concern on Monday about the rising number of deaths, saying government officials should wear masks to set an example for Iranian youth. On Monday Iran recorded its highest number of deaths within a 24-hour period. So far more than 10,000 people have died there from COVID-19. (Tehran Times)
Anti-vaxxer protesters in South Africa burned their face masks to protest against Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trial leaving experts worrying about the level of resistance and misinformation around testing on the continent. Seth Berkley, the CEO of the GAVI vaccine alliance, told an African Union vaccine conference that anti-vaccine sentiment in Africa was the “worst I’ve ever seen.” (ABC)
Most of the miners working for Poland’s biggest coal producer infected with COVID-19 have recovered. Polish mines have struggled with the spread of the pandemic, and state-run mining company PGG has reported 1,886 cases to date. Back in early June the government halted output at 10 PGG mines to thwart the spread of the virus. Operations are set to resume on July 3rd. (Reuters)
More than 186 journalists have died from COVID-19 in four months in 35 countries, according to the Press Emblem Campaign in Geneva. Peru was the country with the highest number of victims (37), followed by Brazil with 16, and Mexico with 14. By region, Latin America remains the most affected, with at least 93 journalists killed by the virus, ahead of 34 victims in Asia, Europe 26, Africa 19 and North America 14. But according to the campaign, the figures are likely to be higher as some who died may not have been tested. (Anadolu Agency)
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2003, Fukuoka City became the first city in Japan to pass an ordinance promoting water conservation—25 years after a severe drought led to 287 days of water restrictions and another drought in the mid-1990s made city officials determined to learn from the past. Since then, it has promoted water-saving devices that attach to faucets and launched a PR blitz to inform residents about the importance of conservation. The ordinance requires all new buildings with more than 53,000 square feet of floor space to have a system installed to use rainwater and recycled wastewater. Those who ignore a first warning are publicly shamed.