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The Latest: Lebanon orders lockdown for 169 towns, villages

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Interior Ministry has ordered a lockdown in 169 villages and towns as well as ordering all nightclubs and pubs to close around the country amid a sharp increase of coronavirus cases.

The Ministry said Sunday that the lockdown will begin Monday morning and last until Oct. 19. Pubs and nightclubs will be closed until further notice, it said.

The new lockdown comes a week after the ministry ordered a lockdown in 111 villages and towns that ends Monday morning. Some of those towns are included under the new restrictions.

On Saturday, Lebanon’s Health Ministry registered 1,388 new cases of coronavirus, raising the country’s confirmed total to 52,558 infections and 455 deaths.

Cases in Lebanon have been rising since early July when the country eased a nationwide lockdown and opened its only international airport. The numbers increased dramatically following an Aug. 4 blast in Beirut that killed and wounded many, as people gathered at hospitals, funerals and anti-government protests.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— The White House doctor says President Donald Trump is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus but did not say whether Trump had tested negative. Some medical experts are skeptical that Trump could be declared free of the risk of transmitting the virus so early.

— Trump makes speech from White House balcony, 1st appearance since return to residence

— India’s coronavirus cases top 7 million, a re on track to surpass the United States

— As a second wave of coronavirus infections hit, European nations seem not to have learned their lessons from the first surge

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismisses the latest White House offer in COVID-19 aid talks but remains hopeful progress can be made toward a deal.

— Queen Elizabeth II honors the work of doctors, nurses, delivery drivers, fundraisers and volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

LONDON — One of the main medical advisers to the British government has warned that the country is at a “tipping point” in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic, a day before Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce fresh lockdown restrictions for virus hot spots in the north of England.

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said in a statement that the country is at a “tipping point similar to where we were in March.”

The U.K. has experienced Europe’s deadliest outbreak with more than 42,750 deaths.

Van-Tam laid out his hope that history won’t repeat itself in light of better testing and treatments, as well as greater knowledge of the virus itself.

Johnson is on Monday expected to impose additional restrictions in areas where the virus has been spreading fastest in recent weeks. Pubs and restaurants in northern cities like Liverpool or Manchester are expected to be closed.

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NEW DELHI — India’s confirmed coronavirus toll has crossed 7 million with a number of

Lamont Considers Phase 3 Opt-Out For Coronavirus Outbreak Towns

CONNECTICUT — Gov. Ned Lamont is now considering giving towns with a high volume of coronavirus cases discretion to stay at the second reopening phase.

“I think we are thinking about this on a town-by-town basis and perhaps giving those towns some discretion not to move to phase three, to stay at phase two,” Lamont said at a news conference.

Connecticut’s third reopening phase started Thursday. It increases indoor restaurant and personal service capacity from 50 to 75 percent. It also increases capacity at private social commercial gatherings like weddings as well as religious services, graduation ceremonies, outdoor entertainment and indoor performing arts.

The discretion to stay or roll back to phase two would be given if a town reached 15 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week rolling average. The state average is closer to seven per 100,000.

The eastern part of the state and particularly New London County is beginning to see a rise in cases. Norwich and New London have more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week average. Windham and Preston have between 15 and 24 cases per 100,000 residents. Those figures don’t include nursing homes, assisted living or correctional facilities.

The nature of the pandemic has changed since March and April where large swaths of the state were experiencing outbreaks, Lamont said. Many coronavirus outbreaks are being fueled by small private social gatherings where people get lax with mask use and social distancing.

Danbury’s outbreak that dated back to late August has been cooling off. Danbury’s outbreak occurred in one section of the city and mainly stayed there, said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford. Norwich and New London’s outbreaks aren’t as localized, she said.

The state’s rapid response testing team will help bring additional testing capacity to communities hit with coronavirus outbreaks. The team was active in Norwich last weekend and is partnering with the Ledge Light Health District in New London to bring additional testing to the area.

See also: CT Coronavirus Spread Different Now Than March: White House’s Dr. Deborah Birx

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch

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Brain-Eating Microbe Found In Texas Town’s Water System Following Boy’s Death

KEY POINTS

  • A 6-year-old boy died in early September from an infection caused by a brain-eating amoeba
  • Three of the 11 samples collected confirmed the presence of the naegleria fowleri microbe in Lake Jackson’s water system
  • Officials warned residents to not drink tap water directly and boil their water before use

The presence of a brain-eating parasite that led to the death of a 6-year-old boy was found in the water system of a Texas town near Houston. Officials said it will take at least 60 days to completely disinfect the water system.

Health officials started collecting water samples to conduct tests after the death of Josiah McIntyre in Lake Jackson, Texas, in early September. Three of the 11 samples collected tested positive for the naegleria fowleri microbe, Lake Jackson City Manager Modesto Mundo told Associated Press on Monday.

On Sept. 25, the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) alerted the Brazosport Water Authority (BWA) about the presence of the microbe in its water system, prompting BWA to issue a warning in eight cities including Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute, and Rosenberg.

The residents were asked not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets. The advisory was later canceled for the other communities, but not for Lake Jackson, a city of more than 27,000, where the authority’s water treatment plant was located. A day later, the warning was lifted for Lake Jackson residents, but they were still urged to boil the water before using it.

Mundo said the city’s water utility is working to replace any “old water” in its system with freshwater, thereby disinfecting and purging the system of the naegleria fowleri parasite. “We’ll be doing that for a 60-day period,” Mundo told the AP.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naegleria fowleri is a free-living microscopic amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater and soil. It is known to infect people when contaminated water enters the body through nose and travels to the brain, causing a fatal disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis. The infection typically occurs when people go swimming or diving in lakes and rivers, as well as through contaminated tap water.

Bacteria Bacteria, as seen under a microscope. Photo: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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