Afghanistan announces its highest rise of Covid-19 cases and deaths
Six new polio cases have been reported in Afghanistan as the war-torn country recorded its highest one-day rise of new coronavirus cases and deaths, triggered by the continued surge of transmission in Kandahar and Kabul amid an intensified war across the country.
The country confirmed 235 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, marking its biggest one-day rise of new infections, and 12 patients died overnight – bringing the total number of infections to 2,704 and death toll to 85. There have so far been 345 recoveries. Wahidullah Mayar, a health ministry spokesman, said 256 health workers have also tested positive in the country.
Most of the new infections were confirmed in Kabul, raising the total number of transmissions to 680 – with 63 reported in last 25 hours. Kabul is the country’s worst-affected area and authorities have implemented a lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Despite the lockdown in several provinces, in most cities streets are still crowded with vehicles and people walking freely around. Experts fear that may be a challenge in the fight with Covid-19.
The disease may cause huge collateral damage among Afghanistan’s many vulnerable citizens. Save the Children has already warned that lockdowns – although they are being widely ignored – have put seven million children at risk of hunger.
Meanwhile, Mayar said on Saturday that six new polio cases were recorded in the country, mostly in the southern province of Kandahar. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, are the only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic.
War continued to intensify in the country. A government spokesman said 17 civilians were killed by the Taliban in the first week of Ramadan.
Russia records its biggest increase of Covid-19 cases
After Covid-19: How will a socially distanced high street actually work?
Britain’s once bustling high streets are now eerily quiet, with all non-essential shops closed and thousands of staff furloughed. Many may never reopen as the lockdown accelerates shifts to online shopping, while others will have to find ways to adapt to a radically different retail world of long-term social distancing rules and nervous customers afraid of catching the virus.
The British Independent Retailers Association warned last week that one fifth of their members might close for good if footfall is low. Yet some of the big non-food retailers such as Homebase and B&Q are starting to reopen stores, and the British Retail Consortium has issued guidance on how non-essential shops could trade while keeping customers and staff safe.
The Observer spoke to five shop owners on one British high street to find out how they are faring and what the future holds for their businesses.