DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Long-haul carrier Emirates says it will cover the costs of passengers' coronavirus-related medical expenses in an effort to encourage more travelers to fly on the airline.
Emirates on Thursday said passengers can claim medical expenses of up to 150,000 euros ($174,000) and quarantine costs of 100 euros ($116) per day for 14 days if they are diagnosed with Covid-19.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chairman and CEO of the government-owned airline, said: "We know people are yearning to fly as borders around the world gradually reopen, but they are seeking flexibility and assurances should something unforeseen happen during their travel."
The airline said the coverage is good for passengers flying until Oct. 30.
Here’s what else is happening around the world during the pandemic.
‘Huge Discrepancy’ in S. Africa Death Reports
JOHANNESBURG — South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases have reached nearly 400,000 as the country reported a new daily high of 572 deaths.
South Africa is now one of the world's top five countries in terms of reported virus cases, and it makes up more than half of the cases on the African continent with 394,948. Deaths are at 5,940.
Public hospitals are struggling as patient numbers climb, and more than 5,000 health workers have been infected.
The struggles by Africa's most developed country in coping with the pandemic are a worrying sign for other, far less resourced countries across the continent as the spread of infections picks up speed.
In addition, the South African Medical Research Council has reported a "huge discrepancy" between the country's confirmed Covid-19 deaths and the number of excess deaths from natural causes.
The new report shows more than 17,000 excess deaths from May 6 to July 14 compared with data from the past two years.
According to the report, "In the past weeks, the numbers have shown a relentless increase — by the second week of July, there were 59% more deaths from natural causes than would have been expected based on historical data."
The council's president, Glenda Gray, said the excess deaths could be attributed to Covid-19 or to other widespread diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis whose treatments might be suffering as resources are directed toward the pandemic.
And some South Africans might be staying away from health facilities altogether as fears of the new virus spread.
Hong Kong Records Record High
HONG KONG — Hong Kong's coronavirus infections hit a record high on Thursday with 118 new cases.
Of those, 111 were locally transmitted while authorities were unable to trace the source of others.
Hong Kong has a total of 2,250 confirmed cases with 14 deaths.
To combat the outbreak, the Hong Kong government has made masks compulsory on public transport and in public indoor areas. Health officials have urged people to stay home as much as possible, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Social distancing measures have been tightened in light of the worsening situation, with gatherings of more than four people banned. Businesses such as gyms and amusement parks are also temporarily shuttered, while eateries and restaurants can only operate at a limited capacity.
Switzerland Adds 15 Nation to Quarantine List
GENEVA — Swiss authorities have added another 15 countries, including Mexico and Luxembourg, to their list of nations facing increased risk of Covid-19 infection from which travelers entering Switzerland will be required to undergo a 10-day quarantine.
There are now 42 countries on the quarantine list, based on per capita outbreak levels over the past two weeks.
Under the Swiss rules, arriving passengers must "immediately and directly" go home or to other "suitable accommodation" for 10 days, and contact cantonal or regional authorities within two days.
Release is permitted only after no symptoms have been shown for the duration. In some cases, cantonal officials provide food and other assistance to those under quarantine — but no support for loss of income is provided.