Contact-tracing applications can sharply reduce the spread of the coronavirus even when only a few people use them, according to a study conducted by Google and Oxford University researchers.
An app used by 15% of the population, together with a well-staffed contact-tracing workforce can lead to a 15% drop in infection rates and an 11% drop in virus deaths, the study said.
The researchers simulated the spread of the virus based on interactions at homes, offices, schools and social gatherings across a handful of counties in Washington State in the United States.
All 36 clubs in Germany’s top two football leagues are preparing to host small numbers of fans when the new Bundesliga season begins on September 18, according to German Football League (DFL) head Christian Seifert. However, the return of fans to watch live games relies on the rate of infection staying low and due to the uncertainty, Seifert is expecting a “demanding and difficult season.”
Support for the German government’s handling of the virus has jumped to a record high, accordin to a poll released by public broadcaster ARD. The number of citizens backing the stance taken by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative-led coalition rose to 66%, or two percentage points more than the previous highs set in May and August.
Denmark is easing its virus-related border controls, with a view to opening all 13 land border crossings with Germany “as soon as possible.” Previously, only three were open.
France registered more than 7,000 new infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, its health ministry said. That figure is slightly less than the record of 7,578 set on March 31. The number of people in intensive care with the disease also rose again for the fifth consecutive day – up by 18 to 464.
One in four of Finland’s 5.5 million people have downloaded the country’s contact-tracing app since it was launched on Monday. Finland has recorded over 8,200 cases and 335 deaths.
Brazil’s number of new cases topped 4 million, as the country reported 43,773 infections. Brazil, which is currently grappling with the second-highest number of cases in the world, has registered 4,041,368 cases since the start of the pandemic. Its official death toll stands at 124,614.
Israel announced a new lockdown across 30 areas, after the country of nearly 9 million people reported a record 3,000 new infections on Wednesday. From Monday, travel from 30 areas classified as “red” will be limited and non-essential businesses shut down. Israel is currently struggling with one of the world’s highest detected per-capita infection rates, and a death toll of nearly 1,000.
South African healthcare workers gathered in Pretoria and Cape Town to protest against poor working conditions and corruption in the purchase of personal protective equipment.
The union leading the demonstrations, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union, has threatened that its 200,000 public workers will go on strike on September 10 if their issues are not addressed.
South Africa, Africa’s worst-hit country, has recorded over 630,000 cases and more than 14,300 deaths.
lc/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP)
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