Tulsa County is the center of coronavirus infections in the state, with 120 new cases on Thursday. President Trump plans an indoor rally there Saturday.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has a big surge in new coronavirus cases, to a new daily high double the previous record-setting number two days earlier.
State health officials listed 450 new cases Thursday, compared to the previous one-day high of 229 reported Tuesday. The additional cases increased the state’s total by 5.1% to 9,354 since the outbreak began.
Two deaths Thursday brought the Oklahoma Covid-19 death toll to 366.
Tulsa County continues as the state’s leading Covid-19 hot spot with 120 new cases, for a total of 1,945. Second-place Oklahoma County reported 107 new cases, bringing its total to 1,861.
The new wave comes amid demonstrations to protest police killings of black citizens and an indoor Saturday rally planned by President Trump .
The Hague Bans Rally Protesting Lockdowns
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Security authorities in The Hague have banned a planned protest against coronavirus restrictions, saying the Sunday demonstration would endanger public health.
Mayor Johan Remkes wrote Friday that the event originally was to have drawn about 100 people but program changes that include performances by DJs have turned it into a festival that could attract up to 10,000. Such large-scale events are banned until Sept. 1 under the government’s coronavirus measures.
Remkes said in a statement that the right to demonstrate in public is important, “but it is not unlimited.”
He said the event planned for Sunday in the city’s Malieveld park would create “an illegal and dangerous situation.”
Organizers called the event to protest the government’s lockdown measures.
German Cases Jump on Slaughterhouse Outbreak
BERLIN — Germany’s disease control center reported the highest daily increase in Covid-19 cases in a month, as positive tests from an outbreak at a slaughterhouse enter the statistics.
The Robert Koch Institute listed 770 new cases Friday, taking its total tally since the start of the outbreak to 188,534. It was the biggest daily increase since May 20.
The German government has stuck to its course of gradually reopening the country while seeking to clamp down swiftly on local outbreaks.
Authorities in the western county of Guetersloh are testing thousands of workers at a slaughterhouse. At least 730 people have already tested positive for the new coronavirus there.
Czech Republic Opens Up; Virus Cases Increase
PRAGUE — The Czech Republic has registered a spike in Covid-19 cases as the country eases pandemic restrictions.
The daily increase surpassed 100 for the first time since May 18 to reach 118 on Thursday.
A total of 10,283 cases have been confirmed and 334 people have died.
Australians Recover From Shipboard Infections
PERTH, Australia — A livestock ship loaded with 35,000 sheep has left Australia for the Middle East three weeks behind schedule due to half the crew becoming infected with the coronavirus.
The Al Kuwait left the west coast port of Fremantle on Friday bound for Kuwait after the federal government granted it an exemption from a ban on live sheep exports during the Northern Hemisphere summer and a court rejected an appeal by animal rights activists.
The Al Kuwait arrived at Fremantle from the United Arab Emirates on May 22 with plans to load the last shipment of sheep before the three-month export ban on animal welfare grounds took effect on June 1.
But more than 20 of its 48 crew members soon tested positive for the virus and were taken to a hospital and hotel rooms to recover. All have recovered and most left Fremantle with the ship.
Because of the higher risk to the sheep of heat stress during the summer, the number allowed to be exported under the ban exemption was slashed from the original cargo of 56,000 animals.
Japan and Vietnam Ease Restrictions
TOKYO — Japan and Vietnam have agreed to partially lift travel bans and ease restrictions as a way to reopen economic and bilateral exchanges between the two Asian nations where coronavirus infections have been largely under control.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters Friday that Vietnam is one of four countries with which Japan has been discussing resuming mutual visits in phases. Japan is seeking similar arrangements with Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
Japan and Vietnam are discussing final details such as timing of resumption, Motegi said.
Japan has imposed entry bans to 111 nations as part of coronavirus measures.
Japan lifted a seven-week pandemic emergency in late May and has started reopening social and business activities to minimize economic damage. All domestic restrictions were removed Friday and people now can start travel anywhere in Japan. Physical distancing and other preventive measures remain in place.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said aggressive virus testing is crucial as the country resumes social and economic activity safely. He said testing centers for foreign visitors are also being planned.
Vietnam has reported 342 cases and no deaths. Its remarkable record is attributed to strict and thorough contact tracing and isolation of infected people. Japan has 17,740 cases and 935 deaths.
India Records 13,586 New Cases on Friday
NEW DELHI — India recorded the highest one-day spike of 13,586 coronavirus cases, raising the total to 380,532.
India’s death toll on Friday reached 12,573, a rise of 336, yet almost certainly a vast undercount. The number of recoveries touched 52% at 204,711.
India lags behind only the United States, Brazil and Russia in the number of confirmed cases. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to ease restrictions.
The lockdown, imposed on March 25, has been restricted to high-risk areas. The worst-hit states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi. They account for 60% of the cases.
Singapore Opens Up
SINGAPORE — Singaporeans can wine and dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and get together but no more than five people after most lockdown restrictions were lifted Friday.
The city-state has one of the highest infections in Asia, with 41,473 confirmed cases, mostly linked to foreign workers’ dorms. The government says the infections have declined, with no new large clusters emerging.
Cases outside the dorms were also stable despite a partial economic reopening two weeks ago.
Malls, gyms, massage parlors, parks and other public spaces reopened Friday, with strict social distancing and health safety rules. Tuition classes also resumed, except singing. Minor prohibitions remain including on contact sports and mass religious congregations.
Entertainment venues such as cinemas, karaoke rooms and bars are still shut while big events including trade fairs and concerts are banned.
Virus Keeps Creeping Through Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea — The coronavirus continues to spread in South Korea, particularly in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan region, which is home to half the country’s 51 million people.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 49 new cases for the nation Friday, with 26 of them in Seoul and the nearby port city of Incheon. South Korea has recorded 12,306 infections, including 280 deaths.
Officials have been reporting around 30 to 50 new cases a day since late May, inspiring second guessing on whether officials were too quick to ease social distancing guidelines in April after the country’s first wave of infections waned.
Hundreds of cases in the Seoul area have been linked to leisure and religious activities and low-income workers who can’t afford to stay home.
Beijing Nervously Watches Virus Count
BEIJING — New coronavirus cases remained stable in China’s capital Friday, a day after a public health official declared Beijing’s latest outbreak under control.
Beijing recorded 25 new cases, up by four from Thursday, in a total of 32 cases reported nationwide.
Beijing has confirmed 183 new cases in the past week, but an official of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the daily numbers should begin to decline soon. Wu Zunyou said such outbreaks are inevitable, though this one was larger than expected because it spread from Beijing’s main wholesale market.
Classes in the city have been suspended and opening-up plans for everything from sports events to art exhibitions are hold.
UN in Desperate Need of Money for Food Program
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations food agency says ít needs immediate funding to prevent a shutdown in late July of the global transport system that has been delivering tons of masks, gloves and other critical equipment for the coronavirus pandemic in 132 nations.
The World Food Program’s director of operations said Thursday the agency also would have to ground aircraft that have transported 2,600 humanitarian and health workers free of charge to 40 destinations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East since the pandemic began.
Amer Daoudi said the World Food Program requested $965 million to sustain its transport services through 2020 but so far has received only $132 million even though “the entire humanitarian and health community is relying on WFP’s logistic services now more than ever.”
Courthouse News contributed to this report.