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Coronavirus digest: France says second wave 'highly likely'

August 4, 2020

Experts in France — a former coronavirus hotspot — have warned that a second wave of infections is "highly likely" once summer is over. Catch up with this and other latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

People wear face masks outside in the French city of Quiberon, where a local outbreak of coronavirus was discovered in July 2020
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Y.-M. Quemener

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A second wave of the coronavirus is "highly likely" this autumn or winter, France's top scientific body has said. The European country recorded a noticeable increase in new infections over the past two weeks.

"France has the situation under control but it is precarious, with a surge of virus circulation this summer. The short term future of the pandemic mainly lies in the hands of the population," the scientific committee that monitors the new coronavirus said in a statement published by the French Health Ministry on their website.

"It is highly likely that we will experience a second epidemic wave this autumn or winter."

Here's a roundup of the other major stories regarding coronavirus around the world:

Bolivia's hospitals overwhelmed


A soccer player who deliberately coughs near another player or match official can be issued a red card, the game's rule-setting body has announced.

In light of the pandemic, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) updated its guidelines to allow referees to red card a player when they are certain the cough is intentional. A yellow card is also an option.

In a statement IFAB said action should not be taken in situations where the cough was "clearly accidental" or when there is a large distance between players. 

"However, where it is close enough to be clearly offensive, then the referee can take action," the statement said. 


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has continued to downplay the seriousness of the coronavirus despite having been infected himself, vetoed legislation on Tuesday that would have given healthcare workers incapacitated by the virus a one-time payment of $9,400 (€7,996). Bolsonaro called the bill unconstitutional and not in the public interest. Now the country's congress must decide whether to let the bill die or challenge the president. More than 2.7 million Brazilians have been infected to date, and 94,600 have died as a result of the virus.

Read more: Brazil's favelas forced to fight coronavirus alone

As the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the US, construction spending fell for the fourth consecutive month. Government statistics also found that 13% of low-income households were having difficulty paying utilities, with 4% losing service as a result.


Australian Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said 500 military personnel will be deployed to the country's second-most populated state to bolster COVID-19 self-isolation orders, with anyone found in breach of those measures facing new fines of nearly A$5,000 ($3,559.00, €3,000). The only exemption will be for urgent medical care.

"There is literally no reason for you to leave your home and if you were to leave your home and not be found there, you will have a very difficult time convincing Victoria police that you have a lawful reason," Andrews told reporters. Victoria earlier this week imposed a night curfew. 


Hong Kong reported 78 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the first time in almost two weeks that new cases had fallen into double-digits. Mainland China registered 36 new cases across the country, down from 43 the previous day. Of those, 28 were in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and two in Liaoning province in the northeast. Another six cases were brought by Chinese arriving from overseas. No new deaths were registered.  

Read more: Coronavirus in India: Is public negligence causing surge in cases?

The Philippines, meanwhile, reported 6,352 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily jump in cases in Southeast Asia. The island country has posted a record rise in cases in five of the past six days. Capital city Manila and nearby provinces have reinstated strict lockdown measures for two weeks in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. 


Turkey on Tuesday announced a tightening of coronavirus rules after the country saw over 1,000 new infections in one day for the first time in three weeks. The new rules will affect weddings and funerals as well as regulate new tracing measures and daily quarantine inspections. Turkey will also begin a nationwide pilot project in the central city of Kirikkale, where citizens will be able to register complaints about citizens who flaunt the rules or refuse to wear face masks.

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First wave, or second? The terms are pretty loosely defined and it's probably fair to say it varies from place to place. In the US, for instance, some of the worst-hit states now are probably still in their first wave, which started late. Brazil shows little evidence of its first wave ever having subsided. Meanwhile, places like Spain had noticeable spikes, followed by reductions, and are now back on the rise once more. We crunch a few of the numbers and also look at the worrying indications — with the winter in mind — that this virus likes it cold.

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