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South Africa eases restrictions; demand for oxygen in Indian hospitals; lockdown in Israel.

A look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world.

by Stranger’s Guide
South Africa

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has lowered the country’s alert level to its lowest since lockdown began — and an easing of restrictions, in a move, he said, which recognizes that infections levels are relatively low and that its health care system can manage. Under Level 1 restrictions, social, religious, political and other gatherings will be permitted, with caveats, funeral attendance is raised from 50 to 100, and gyms and theaters will be able to accommodate up to 50% of their capacity. At the height of the pandemic, South Africa was recording around 12,000 new cases a day; today there are less than 2,000 cases a day, with a recovery rate of 89%. (Independent Online, South Africa)

India

Demand for oxygen by hospitals in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh fighting coronavirus has more than tripled, as the number of infections in India top five million. India has the world’s fastest-growing coronavirus caseload, adding a million infections to its tally in just 11 days. (Al Jazeera)

New Zealand

New Zealand has entered its worst recession since 1987, when the current system of financial measurement began—following strict lockdown measures designed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Its June quarter GDP fell by 12.2 per cent, and the decline in GDP per capita was even higher, at 12.6 per cent in the quarter. KiwiBank chief economist Jarrod Kerr said: “We’ve never seen anything like this. It was traumatic.” (Stuff, NZ)

Israel

Under new lockdown regulations, Israelis are restricted to a 500-meter radius of their homes, while spending time in the home of another person, even if it is within 500-meters of their own home, is forbidden. The measures come as Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are dealing with a renewed coronavirus outbreak. The lockdown is expected to last until 11 October. (Haaretz)

France

The number of coronavirus patients sent to intensive care units in France rose for the 20th straight day to a three-month high of 803, while the number of new daily cases was the third highest on record. Health authorities reported 9,784 new infections, just below the 10,561 daily all-time high reached last week, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 404,888, the second highest in Western Europe behind Spain. (France 24)

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