Malawi’s election cheer dampened by coronavirus surge

LILONGWE – Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera on Saturday ordered his inauguration ceremony be scaled down amid a surge of coronavirus cases, dampening excitement around his election win. Chakwera was sworn in last Sunday for a five-year term, hours after unseating Peter Mutharika in a re-run election, and this Monday the country is holding a formal celebration. Chakwera said capacity at the national stadium would be halved to 20,000 and at least 100,000 face masks…

"Malawi’s election cheer dampened by coronavirus surge"

Thai boxing matches resume after lockdown, but audiences stay home

BANGKOK – Thai boxing matches resumed on Saturday after more than three months as the nation eases its coronavirus lockdown, but fans of the popular sport will have to make do with watching on television for now. Leaders of the sport hailed the return to the ring after the shutdown, which left hundreds of boxers and referees without work, and said they hoped spectators would be allowed to attend matches again soon. “I’m very happy…

"Thai boxing matches resume after lockdown, but audiences stay home"

Tiafoe tests positive for COVID-19, withdraws from Atlanta event

– Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for COVID-19 and been forced to withdraw from the All-American Team Cup exhibition tournament in Atlanta, the American said on Saturday. Tiafoe played in the first session on Friday and beat Sam Querrey in straight sets at the event in which the top eight American players are participating. The 22-year-old Tiafoe had said after the match that he struggled to play in the heat and felt dizzy. “Unfortunately, I…

"Tiafoe tests positive for COVID-19, withdraws from Atlanta event"

Florida sees coronavirus cases spike to new daily record

– Florida’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose by a record 11,458 on Saturday, the state’s health department said, the second time in three days that its caseload increased by more than 10,000. The new record came a day after seven other states also reported record rises in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has killed nearly 130,000 Americans. The recent surge, most pronounced in southern and western states, has alarmed public health…

"Florida sees coronavirus cases spike to new daily record"

India’s clinical research body defends timeline for coronavirus vaccine trials

MUMBAI – India’s leading clinical research agency said Saturday its decision to fast-track development of a potential coronavirus vaccine was in line with international standards, after health experts raised concerns about the schedule for clinical trials. The Indian Council of Medical Research issued a statement after a letter was leaked on Friday showing ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava as saying the agency “envisaged” launch of the vaccine for public health use by Aug. 15, with…

"India’s clinical research body defends timeline for coronavirus vaccine trials"

Fans gather for final showings at Thailand’s much-loved La Scala theatre

BANGKOK – Donning masks and observing social-distancing practices, movie and theatre fans on Saturday bid a final farewell to Thailand’s La Scala theatre in Bangkok, which is set to close its doors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The 50-year-old theatre, built in the late modernism architectural style with an Art-Deco interior, has been struggling for the last decade to stay profitable amid competition from new media and increases in its land lease costs.…

"Fans gather for final showings at Thailand’s much-loved La Scala theatre"

Mexico steps up border checks to keep coronavirus at bay over July 4 holiday

MEXICO CITY – Mexican officials will install health checkpoints at various entry points along its northern border this weekend, as both Mexican and U.S. officials fear a surge of crossings for the July 4 holiday could spread the coronavirus. Mexican consulates across the United States issued warnings last week on social media of the ramped-up measures scheduled for July 2 through July 5, and urged people to refrain from crossing for recreation or tourism. A…

"Mexico steps up border checks to keep coronavirus at bay over July 4 holiday"

Catalonia curbs movement of 200,000 people after new coronavirus outbreak

MADRID – Spain’s north-eastern region of Catalonia enforced a new lockdown on more than 200,000 people on Saturday, after several new outbreaks of the coronavirus were detected. Residents in Segria, which includes the city of Lleida, will not be able to leave the area from 12 noon (1000 GMT) on Saturday, but will not be confined to their homes as was the case in Spain’s original strict lockdown in March. “We have decided to confine…

"Catalonia curbs movement of 200,000 people after new coronavirus outbreak"

Iran imposes new curbs as coronavirus toll rises

– Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday as he launched new measures to try to curb the coronavirus. Iran has been battling the spread of the coronavirus, with the total number of cases hitting 237,878 on Saturday and a further 148 deaths bringing the country’s toll to 11,408, Health…

"Iran imposes new curbs as coronavirus toll rises"