Live Coronavirus Updates: U.S. Daily Cases Surpass 59,000

In addition to a national record, at least five states set single-day records for infections.

As President Trump continued to press for a broader reopening, the United States set another record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with more than 59,400 infections announced, according to a New York Times database. It was the fifth national record in nine days.

The previous record, 56,567, was reported on Friday.

The country reached a total of three million cases on Tuesday as the virus continued its resurgence in the South and West. At least five states — Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia — set single-day records for new infections on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, the country’s daily number of new cases had increased by 72 percent over the past two weeks. And by Wednesday, 24 states had reported more cases over the past week than in any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic.

Texas reported more than 9,900 cases on Wednesday, the state’s third consecutive day with a record total of new infections. According to Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, the state’s rate of positive tests was hovering around 20 percent at the beginning of July, double what it was a month before.

In Arizona, a fast-spreading outbreak is putting pressure on hospital capacity, with the state having reported more deaths in recent days. New cases in Arizona have been trending upward since the beginning of June, and this week the state has been averaging more than 3,600 new cases a day, a record.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said in an interview on Wednesday with The Wall Street Journal: “Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say, because each state is different.”

Dr. Fauci spoke as medical facilities across the nation, under pressure from the surge in cases, continued to face a dire shortage of respirator masks, isolation gowns and disposable gloves that protect front-line medical workers from infection.

Schools, too, are at the center of conflicting messaging about how they can safely welcome back students. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said that it would issue new guidelines, after Mr. Trump criticized its previous ones.

Federal health officials in the United States are trying to decide who will get the first doses of any effective coronavirus vaccines, which could be on the market this winter but may require many additional months to become widely available to Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an advisory committee of outside health experts have been working on a ranking system for what may be an extended rollout. According to a preliminary plan, any approved vaccines would be offered to vital medical and national security officials first, then to other essential workers and those considered at high risk — the elderly instead of children, people with underlying conditions instead of the relatively healthy.

Agency officials and the advisers are also considering what has become a contentious option: putting Black and Latino people, part of the population that has disproportionately fallen victim to Covid-19, ahead of others in the population.

Some medical experts are not convinced there is a scientific basis for such an option. They foresee court challenges or worry that prioritizing minority groups would erode public trust in vaccines at a time when immunization is seen as crucial to ending the pandemic.

“Giving it to one race initially and not another race, I’m not sure how that would be perceived by the public, how that would affect how vaccines are viewed as a trusted public health measure,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, a group represented on the committee.

Fresh U.S. government data on Thursday is expected to show that new unemployment claims have leveled off after a steady decline, as rising coronavirus cases have pushed some states to reverse course and reimpose shutdown orders on businesses.

According to Bloomberg, the average estimate is that 1.37 million new state jobless claims were filed last week, a dip from the previous week’s 1.43 million. Although new claims in the Labor Department’s tally have been declining since early April, the weekly total has not dropped below a million since the coronavirus pandemic started — levels that are far above previous records.

Hiring nationwide has picked up in recent weeks, and the overall jobless rate dipped in June to 11.1 percent from a peak of 14.7 percent in April. But most of the payroll gains were because of the rehiring of workers temporarily laid off because of the pandemic. The pool of workers whose previous jobs have disappeared and who must search for new ones has grown.

“The recovery in new hiring has yet to begin.” said Julia Pollak, labor economist at the employment site ZipRecruiter.

India recorded nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, its highest single-day total, as new research showed that a key metric of virus transmission rate had increased for the first time in months.

India’s virus reproduction rate has increased for the first time since March, to 1.19 in early July from 1.1 in late June, according to research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai that was reported by the India’s news media. The rate — the number of new infections estimated to stem from a single case, commonly referred to as R0 — had been steadily falling from a peak of 1.83 in March.

The Indian government began easing a nationwide lockdown in late May. Dr. Sitabhra Sinha, a scientist at the Chennai institute, told The Indian Express that the increase “probably has its origin in events that happened around mid-June or slightly later.”

“The bottom line is that right now we are in the situation we were in in May and early June, and the further decrease we saw in late June was not sustained or improved upon,” Dr. Sinha told the newspaper.

As of Thursday, India had more than 767,000 confirmed infections and 21,129 deaths, according to a New York Times database. The country’s caseload is the world’s third-largest after the United States and Brazil, and it is averaging about 450 Covid-19 deaths per day.

As health officials across India struggle to cope with a surge of new cases, state-run hospitals are overflowing with sick patients. Some public health experts have linked the rising infection toll to its spread in major cities, which have crowded marketplaces and very little social distancing.

At least two Indian states, Bihar and West Bengal, are now reintroducing social distancing measures that they had lifted in June.

In other news from around the world:

The authorities in the northeastern Catalonia region of Spain on Thursday reintroduced the mandatory use of face masks outdoors, along with a fine of 100 euros ($113) for anyone not wearing one. There have been a series of outbreaks in the region, the most serious of which has led to the lockdown of about 200,000 people living around the city of Lleida. In the Balearic archipelago, off Spain’s east coast, the authorities are also preparing to make masks compulsory again starting this weekend.

In Serbia, thousands of demonstrators protested for a second consecutive night on Wednesday in response to President Aleksandar Vucic’s management of the coronavirus crisis and wider concerns over the state of democracy in the country.

Australia stepped up its efforts to isolate the outbreak spreading through Melbourne on Thursday, as the state of Queensland shut its doors to people trying to flee the city’s six-week lockdown. Most of Australia is now off limits to people from the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is the capital, as the state authorities reported 165 new cases on Thursday, including six infections tied to a school where a cluster has now spread to 113 people.

Tokyo recorded 224 new infections on Thursday, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK said, surpassing a record set in April. The city has more than 7,000 cases.

A man in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan was executed on Thursday, after he killed two village officials tasked with combating the virus, a local court and the state-run news media said. The killing was in February, and the man was sentenced to death in March.

The Indonesian island of Bali, a popular tourist destination, began reopening beaches and businesses on Thursday, despite a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases. Bali was never locked down, but residents were encouraged to stay home, practice social distancing and wear masks. Over the past three weeks, the number of reported infections has more than doubled, to 1,971, and the number of deaths has more than quadrupled, to 25.

The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed barring migrants from obtaining asylum in the United States if they traveled through or came from a country struggling with the coronavirus or other disease outbreaks.

If enacted, the proposed rule would lay a framework for the administration to continue to use a public health crisis to justify the sealing of the United States to nearly every person seeking protection at the southwestern border. Asylum officers would be able to cite any disease that the United States designates as having created a public health emergency.

The rule would allow an asylum officer to classify migrants coming from a country with an outbreak as a “danger to the security of the United States,” denying them protections and putting them on a fast track to deportation. It would also allow the homeland security secretary and the attorney general to classify outbreaks as threats to the United States, which would then be used as factors in denying protections to migrants seeking asylum.

The Trump administration has already effectively brought asylum to a halt by using health authorities granted to the surgeon general to immediately turn away most asylum seekers at the border, including children traveling alone. The administration also created a fallback in the event that such emergency restrictions were lifted or blocked by a potential lawsuit. It proposed regulations that would raise the standard of proof for migrants hoping to obtain asylum, and would allow immigration judges to deny applications for protection without giving migrants an opportunity to testify in court.

The proposal on Wednesday would add to the web of border restrictions that have closed the United States to families fleeing persecution and poverty. President Trump has signed accords with Guatemala and Honduras, for example, that allow the United States to divert migrants to the Central American countries to seek protections there.

Unemployment claims in the U.S. may be leveling off after a steady fall.

Fresh U.S. government data on Thursday is expected to show that new unemployment claims have leveled off after a steady decline, as rising coronavirus cases have pushed some states to reverse course and reimpose shutdown orders on businesses.

According to Bloomberg, the average estimate is that 1.37 million new state jobless claims were filed last week, a dip from the previous week’s 1.43 million. Although new claims in the Labor Department’s tally have been declining since early April, the weekly total has not dropped below a million since the coronavirus pandemic started — levels that are far above previous records.

Hiring nationwide has picked up in recent weeks, and the overall jobless rate dipped in June to 11.1 percent from a peak of 14.7 percent in April. But most of the payroll gains were because of the rehiring of workers temporarily laid off because of the pandemic. The pool of workers whose previous jobs have disappeared and who must search for new ones has grown.

“The recovery in new hiring has yet to begin.” said Julia Pollak, labor economist at the employment site ZipRecruiter.

According to antibody test results, some of New York City’s neighborhoods were so disproportionately exposed to the coronavirus during the peak of the epidemic in March and April that the most vulnerable communities might have a higher degree of protection during a potential second wave.

The testing results from the urgent-care company CityMD were shared with The New York Times.

At a clinic in Corona, a working-class neighborhood in Queens, more than 68 percent of people have tested positive for antibodies to the virus, suggesting that their immune systems had encountered an infection and responded to it. At a clinic in Jackson Heights, also in Queens, that number was 56 percent. But at a clinic in Cobble Hill, an affluent Brooklyn neighborhood, only 13 percent of people tested positive for antibodies.

While stopping short of predicting that hard-hit neighborhoods like Corona and Jackson Heights would be relatively protected in any major new outbreak — a phenomenon known as herd immunity — several epidemiologists said that the different levels of antibody prevalence were likely to play a role in what happens next, assuming that antibodies do, in fact, offer significant protection against future infections.

“Some communities might have herd immunity,” said Dr. Daniel Frogel, a senior vice president for operations at CityMD, which runs urgent-care centers throughout the metropolitan area and plays a vital role in the city’s testing program.

As the virus has swept through New York, it has exposed stark inequalities in nearly every aspect of city life, from who has been most affected to how the health care system tended to those patients. Many lower-income neighborhoods, where Black and Latino residents make up a large part of the population, were hard-hit, while many wealthy neighborhoods had far fewer cases.

But if there is a second wave of the virus, some of those vulnerabilities may flip, with the affluent neighborhoods becoming most at risk for a surge of infections.

The CityMD statistics reflect tests done from late April to late June. As of June 26, CityMD had administered about 314,000 antibody tests in the city; citywide, 26 percent of the tests came back positive.

The testing results in Jackson Heights and Corona seemed to “jump off the map,” Dr. Frogel said.

How to start a new job from home.

Without face-to-face contact and the ability to get acquainted with your colleagues in person, how can you settle into your new, remote workplace? Here are some tips to help.

Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Damien Cave, Patricia Cohen, Mike Ives, Joseph Goldstein, Erica L. Green, Andrew Jacobs, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Patrick Kingsley, Raphael Minder, Richard C. Paddock, Mitch Smith, Megan Twohey, Noah Weiland, Sameer Yasir and Elaine Yu.


A Missed Warning About Silent Coronavirus Infections

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:Via Apple Podcasts | Via Spotify | Via Stitcher

At the end of January, long before the world understood that seemingly healthy people could spread the coronavirus, a doctor in Germany tried to sound the alarm. Today, we look at why that warning was unwelcome.

Matt Apuzzo contributed reporting.

“The Daily” is made by Theo Balcomb, Andy Mills, Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Annie Brown, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Wendy Dorr, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Jonathan Wolfe, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, Adizah Eghan, Kelly Prime, Julia Longoria, Sindhu Gnanasambandan, M.J. Davis Lin, Austin Mitchell, Sayre Quevedo, Neena Pathak, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Daniel Guillemette, Hans Buetow, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Bianca Giaever and Asthaa Chaturvedi. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Mikayla Bouchard, Lauren Jackson, Julia Simon, Mahima Chablani and Nora Keller.


Japan’s Deadly Combination: Climate Change and an Aging Society

Facility operators have mixed feelings about evacuations, said Hajime Kagiya, a professor of disaster management at Atomi University in Tokyo. “They have to be mindful of the health conditions of the residents as well as choosing a place to evacuate to,” he said. “So they tend to take their time in making the decision to evacuate.”

The Japanese government issues standardized evacuation protocols, but they do not take into account the unique characteristics or terrain in different parts of the country, said Professor Tsukahara of Kyushu University. In rural areas, many small villages are isolated and populated by mostly aging residents, with few local resources to help with disaster planning or, in the event of a crisis, to assist with evacuation or rescue.

In the case of the Senjuen nursing home, Aki Goto, its director, told The Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun, a local newspaper, that she had been more concerned about mudslides than flooding. When the waters came, she added, the caregivers could not move quickly enough to move all the residents upstairs.

Six of the workers were on call the night of the floods last weekend, the newspaper reported. That still left each caregiver in charge of more than 10 aging residents, some of whom were unable to walk without help. Even with the aid of local volunteers, they could not bring everyone to safety upstairs as the floodwaters rapidly rose and deluged the ground floor.

According to Shigemitsu Sakoda, 53, the president of Land Earth, a local rafting and outdoor sports company who assisted with the rescue effort at Senjuen, only the caretakers and two local volunteer firefighters were moving residents when Mr. Sakoda arrived to help around noon on Saturday.

“It’s a really tough job for such a small number of people to carry up those who cannot walk to the second floor,” Mr. Sakoda said in a telephone interview. By the time troops from the Japan Self-Defense Forces arrived to rescue the nursing home residents from the roof, some had already died below.

Three years ago, the Japanese government revised a law that requires nursing homes, hospitals, facilities for the disabled and schools located in flood zones to develop evacuation plans and conduct regular drills. According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, just over a third of the country’s 68,000 facilities had evacuation plans on record by March of last year.


Cairo Badly Needed a Detox. Lockdown Supplied One, at a Steep Price.

CAIRO — If ever a city needed a good detox, it was Cairo.

Centuries of turbulent history, topped with recent decades of chaotic urban development, have left the ancient metropolis in poor physical shape. Its complexion is parched and blemished. Traffic clogs its throbbing arteries. It has signs of major stress.

The coronavirus obliged. Three months of lockdown, including an 11-hour nightly curfew, imposed a rejuvenating deep cleanse on Cairo. Roads once choked with honking cars ran free. The air, free of fumes, seemed to sparkle. Silence flooded the streets.

At my apartment near the Nile, a bedroom that was barely usable because of the morning din became an oasis of calm. In the evenings, my family gathered on the balcony to witness sunsets that were more saturated than ever. The pollution app on my phone glowed an unfamiliar green.

Of course, it came at a jarring price. On dawn runs down deserted streets, I passed anxious-looking people wearing masks, crowded around the entrance to a hospital.

And then it was over.

Toward the end of June, the government announced it was allowing mosques, restaurants and coffee houses to reopen. On the last night of curfew, I scrambled into the streets to capture its delicate pleasures one final time. Hundreds of Egyptians, it turned out, had the same idea.

They clustered at dusk on a bridge, watching the squadron of kites that fluttered in the hot breeze shooting down the Nile. Young men in skinny jeans tugged on strings. Veiled women chased after dating couples, trying to sell them roses.

Inevitably, the fun tweaked Egypt’s rulers, always wary of unsanctioned public gatherings. A senior lawmaker warned that the crowded skies posed a threat to national security because Egypt’s enemies could fit the kites with surveillance cameras.

But on the bridge, nobody cared for such talk, preferring to wallow in this odd moment, between serenity and anxiety, when their city’s famously frenetic pulse had been slowed by a virus.

I chatted with two brothers who held aloft a giant kite emblazoned with photographs of themselves, preening, and the soccer star Mohammed Salah, who was beaming. Nearby, Samiha Meneim, 62, perched on a rickety plastic chair, surrounded by 15 family members as well as half-eaten platters of koshary, Egypt’s national dish of spiced lentils, rice and macaroni.

The picnic was a mercy dash after months cooped up in their cramped, low-rent neighborhood. “We had to get out,” said Ms. Meneim, a retired nurse in a black cloak who continued her treatment for breast cancer throughout the lockdown.

She saw the coronavirus as a message from God. “He wants us to look at life differently,” she said.

For much of Egypt’s history, its fate has been shaped by the Nile. The bridge of kites led to Roda Island, described in “One Thousand and One Nights” as a place of heavenly gardens, now a tight sprawl of dust-smeared apartment blocks. At its southern tip, though, there survives a Nilometer built in the ninth century — a structure that measured the river’s seasonal flooding and thus predicted the annual harvest.

Now, disease was dictating the pace of life. As night fell and the curfew officially began, I crossed into downtown Cairo, a jumble of old palaces, crumbling elegance and gaudy shop fronts where, in normal times, the traffic is so crazy that guidebooks offer tourists solemn advice on how to survive.

“Look for locals and join a group,” advises my edition of National Geographic Traveler. “They cross all together, one lane at a time.”

That night it would have taken a miracle to get knocked down. The strays were in charge — skinny cats that strutted down empty boulevards, for once unbothered, and a pair of lordly street dogs that snoozed atop an SUV.

The Metro Cinema, with its dust-encrusted Art Deco facade, opened in 1940 with “Gone With the Wind.” Now it had the eerie air of an abandoned film set, advertising the Egyptians movies it had been showing in March: “Peep Show,” and “The Thief of Baghdad.”

In the late 19th century, Egypt’s ruler, Khedive Ismail, modeled this area on the airy elegance of Haussmann’s Paris, but for decades the graceful buildings have gradually crumbled into disrepair. Now, in the desolation of curfew, they seemed to stand proud again, as did the statues lining the way.

The giant bronze lions that guard Qasr el Nil, the city’s most scenic bridge, looked more relaxed than ever with no foe in sight.

The mix of eerie desolation and faded splendor had a touch of magic, and for an instant I thought of the Egyptian version of the movie “Night at the Museum,” in which the bronze lions come to life under darkness.

But I was not entirely alone.

Teenagers clustered conspiratorially in doorways. Food-delivery riders clustered around their motorcycles outside a restaurant. Business was brisk.

“If it keeps going like this,” remarked Mahmoud Abdel Fattah, leaning over his handlebars. “I’ll be as rich as Naguib Sawiris” — an outspoken billionaire who has been a vociferous critic of the lockdown measures.

Still, Mr. Fattah noted wryly that, at 28 cents per delivery, that fortune could take a while. “Maybe after one million pizzas,” he quipped.

For all their ebullience, the deliverymen also had a downbeat air. Sure, they could zoom to any address in minutes. But Cairo without the grit, the grind, the bustle of people — was it really Cairo at all?

Plagues are nothing new in Cairo. On a visit to Cairo in the 14th century, when the city’s 500,000 inhabitants made it the world’s largest city outside China, the explorer Ibn Battuta noted that an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague was killing as many as 20,000 people a day. Cholera hit repeatedly in the 19th century.

This time, the human cost is amplified by Egypt’s soaring population, which in February crossed the 100 million threshold, an unnerving milestone in a densely packed country.

Outside the city center, the lockdown has been loosely observed — social distancing is little more than an admirable idea in the city’s cramped slums.

Many Egyptians wear masks over their chins or spurn them entirely, much to the chagrin of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a fitness enthusiastic who has urged Egyptians to stay safe, keep fit and lose weight during the lockdown. “Remember to do sport, it increases immunity levels,” he said in May.

Otherwise, it has been business as usual for Mr. el-Sisi during the lockdown — with the arrest of rights activists, belly dancers and even young women who post dance videos to social media. The virus, though, cannot be banished so easily.

Egypt has over 77,000 known cases, and confirmed infections have grown by about 1,400 cases a day for the past month. Egypt has registered more than 3,400 deaths, the highest toll in the Arab world. In an ominous portent, Mr. el-Sisi last week opened a 4,000-bed field hospital to treat coronavirus patients.

And the economic toll is only now becoming apparent. Millions of workers have lost income, and families are cutting back on meat and other items that are now unaffordable. The International Monetary Fund has lent $8 billion to get Egypt through the crisis. More may be needed.

The day after the lockdown was lifted, I walked the same route again. The sense of magic had evaporated.

Police officers patrolled the bridge where the kites had flown. The familiar rumble of traffic snarled the downtown, where some restaurants had opened. But others remained shut — it’s not worth it yet, the manager of Abou Tarek, the city’s most celebrated koshary emporium, told me  — and there was talk that some restrictions could become permanent.

Rules obliging restaurants and coffee houses to shut at 10 p.m. will remain after the virus, a cabinet spokesman said — an announcement that was consistent with Mr. el-Sisi’s desire to “civilize” Egyptians, but that met with muted indignation in a city famous for its vibrant all-night socializing.

Egyptian rulers have announced similar detox measures in the past, only to quickly backtrack in the face of popular resistance. For now, what’s certain is that Cairenes are staying home, caught between their desire to get back to normal and their fear of what may be coming next — much like everywhere else.

Nada Rashwan contributed reporting.


South Korean Triathlete’s Suicide Exposes Team’s Culture of Abuse

Young athletes live together in dormitories and routinely skip classes to attend practices, leaving them with few career choices outside of sports. Such a system gives coaches exceptional power over athletes, and other victims have said they were afraid to earlier speak up for fear they would be left without careers, and ostracized by their teammates.

In a rare example of a Korean athlete speaking out, Shim Suk-hee, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating, shocked the country last year by accusing her former coach of raping her repeatedly since she was 17. The coach, Cho Jae-beom, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for physically assaulting four athletes, including Ms. Shim, between 2011 and the preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. He is still fighting the rape charges in court.

The Korean cases are part of a larger global trend in which female athletes are speaking out about physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of their coaches and team doctors. In the United States, Larry Nasser, a doctor, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years for molesting scores of girls, many of them Olympic gymnasts, under the guise of giving them examinations.

While it is hard to fully understand her mind-set, Ms. Choi, 22, had sought help, filing complaints and petitions with the authorities. In the months leading up to her suicide, she had reported her case to the National Human Rights Commission, the Korea Triathlon Federation, the Korean Sport and Olympic Committee, and the police in Gyeongju City, where the team was based.

Ms. Choi told the authorities, in complaints reviewed by The Times, that Mr. Ahn had slapped, punched and kicked her more than 20 times on the day she made the recording, and fractured one of her ribs. She said she did not seek medical treatment at the time for fear of retaliation.

“She had been stressed out lately because the officials she appealed to acted as if some beating and abuse should be taken for granted in the sport,” said Ms. Choi’s father, Choi Young-hee. The authorities, he said, told Ms. Choi “that the accused denied any wrongdoing and that they didn’t have enough evidence to act, even though ​we gave them the audio files.”

“Our country may have advanced ​a ​lot in other sectors, but the human rights in our sports remain stuck in the 1970s and ’80s,” ​said Mr. Choi​, a farmer. “Who is going to bring back my daughter alive?”


Used Clothes Ban May Crimp Kenyan Style. It May Also Lift Local Design.

NAIROBI, Kenya — Catherine Muringo’s wardrobe consists of secondhand outfits shipped from all over the world: colorful blouses and jeans from Canada, floral dresses from the United States, trench coats from Australia and leather handbags from the United Kingdom.

For years, Ms. Muringo bought the used clothes and accessories at cheap prices in open-air markets in Nairobi and used them to fashion her own idiosyncratic style.

Seven years ago, she also started a business buying and selling such items, distributing castoff fur coats, hoodies and shoes to customers in Kenya and in foreign markets like Botswana, Uganda and Tanzania.

But in late March, the Kenyan government banned the importation of used garments in what it said was a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Even though used clothes are fumigated before being shipped, Kenyan authorities said they were taking precautions because of the spike in infections in countries like the United States.

Now, businesses like hers are threatened, as well as the sartorial choices of millions of Kenyans who depend on low-cost imports to stay stylish.

“Kenyans love to go to the secondhand markets and spend hours looking and searching,” Ms. Muringo said. “Kenyans love the diversity of secondhand.”

Officials also said the banning of imported clothing — known as mitumba, the Swahili word for “bundles” — could have an unexpected benefit. It could help Kenya revive its own textile industry, which was wiped out in the late 1980s as the country started opening its markets to foreign competition.

“I think corona has shown not just for Kenya but for many countries to look inward a lot and try and fill some of the market gaps,” said Phyllis Wakiaga, the chief executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers. “The reality is that there’s a big opportunity for us to produce local clothes for the citizens.”

For years, Kenya, along with other countries in East Africa, had tried to phase out used clothing to boost local manufacturing. But the countries faced the threat of being removed from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, which promotes trade by providing reduced or duty-free access to the American market. Many countries backed off from instituting a ban on imported clothing, with the exception of Rwanda.

The coronavirus gave Kenya a chance to promote its own clothing manufacturing, but thwarted a lively trade.

In Nairobi, the combination of the import ban, plus lockdown measures and an overnight curfew introduced to stamp out the virus, have drastically lessened the hive of activity at the popular Gikomba and Toi thrift markets, mazes of narrow pathways packed with bellowing vendors and piles of clothes, shoes and household goods.

As the largest importer of used clothing in East Africa, Kenya, with its new ban, is expected to upend not just supply chains but also lead to a hemorrhage in jobs connected to the trade and the loss of millions of dollars from government coffers as tax revenue and import duties fall.

But where some see problems, others see opportunity.

Wagura Kamwana, the proprietor of a fabric shop, the Textile Loft, is seeking to capitalize on this moment.

Ms. Kamwana, 40, grew up wearing hand-stitched clothes from her mother, and later on, sought trendy outfits at secondhand markets. Kenyans like used clothes, she said, both for their affordability and because of the their high-quality fabrics.

In 2016, she opened her store, offering premium quality fabrics, sourced from Europe, to Kenyans who wanted to create high-end fashion locally.

In 2018, she started also offering production services to designers looking to develop smaller lines who were being turned away by factories only interested in bulk orders.

Ms. Kamwana has already worked with prominent local designers like Katungulu Mwendwa.

The pandemic has also offered the chance to start her own clothing line. Her new label is set to produce everyday clothing for women including dresses, scarves and trousers ranging from $25 to $150.

Ms. Kamwana said designers and manufacturers should collaborate and take baby steps to push the industry toward maturity.

“This whole value chain will take quite a few years to be feasible or to be seen,” she said, adding, “what we can do immediately is perfect our art of making.”

Other Kenyan companies are also responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic by focusing locally.

Frederick Bittiner Wear, which does fabric selection, design and tailoring for retailers in East Africa, Europe and the United States, has seen a reduction in orders because of the pandemic, so it has turned to producing leggings, T-shirts and vests for the local market, said Dominic Agesa, the managing director.

After approaching distributors with samples, Mr. Agesa said he got 50 orders in a week.

For too long, “Kenya has been reluctant” to incentivize local manufacturers, he said, but the import ban was one step toward making conditions more favorable for a local scene to eventually flourish.

“Are we able to satisfy the Kenyan market and beyond? Mr. Agesa said. “Gradually, the answer is yes.”

Suave Kenya is a brand that transforms secondhand clothes ranging from silk shirts to leather jackets into stylish and colorful tote bags, backpacks and wallets. With the import ban, its founder, Mohamed Awale, is looking into sourcing from local tanneries and textile factories.

“If the pandemic persists, we will have to adapt while still producing the type of bright bags that make us unique,” said Mr. Awale, 32. “When we source locally, we create jobs and make our industries grow.”

Nowhere is the shift to adapt to the changes brought on by the pandemic more visible than in the special export zones on Nairobi’s outskirts. Established in 1990, these zones offer companies less regulations plus tax incentives to promote export-oriented businesses.

But with borders closed and exports plunging, some of the clothing factories have begun servicing the Kenyan market, with the country temporarily allowing manufacturers to exceed the usual limit of supplying no more than 20 percent of their annual production to local markets.

Shona EPZ has 500 employees and makes reflective work clothes for companies like 3M and apparel for department stores like T.J. Maxx. But since the pandemic began, the firm has pivoted toward making personal protective equipment for Kenya, producing tens of thousands of masks and surgical gowns per day, said its director, Isaac Maluki.

Mr. Maluki said he has also partnered with secondhand importers and small-scale manufacturers, that, with the ban on used clothing, are increasingly considering collaborating with larger companies like his to make clothes for local consumption.

“We want to really encourage them to see the kind of quality that comes out of here that can be shared into the local market,” he said. “The local market is huge.”

But before a robust clothing sector takes hold, experts say local manufacturers will have to overcome a host of challenges, including inadequate access to finance, the high cost of electricity, and the lack of raw materials, including cotton.

The fact that powerful lobby groups for the secondhand clothing industry in the United States have already criticized Kenya’s move doesn’t bode well either, said Emily Anne Wolff, a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands who has studied plans to phase out used clothing in East Africa.

Kenya is aiming to be the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to negotiate a free-trade agreement with the United States, which could undermine Kenya’s will to retain the clothing ban.

Used clothes traders have appealed to the government in recent days to lift the ban, saying there is no public health risk associated with the trade. But officials have so far ruled that option out.

For now, Kenyan designers and manufacturers say the ban gives them a window of opportunity to start shaping the future of fashion in Kenya.

“Now is a good time to make choices and changes,” said Ms. Kamwana, the owner of Textile Loft. “You will be surprised by what comes out of this country.”


U.S. Schools, U.K. Jobs, Hagia Sophia: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the dispute over reopening U.S. schools, a $38 billion plan to save British jobs and a crackdown on protesters in Serbia.

President Trump is at odds with his own public health experts over how to safely reopen schools in the fall, as coronavirus infection numbers in the U.S. climb faster than ever.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump assailed safety guidelines issued by the U.S. disease control agency for schools that hope to open by September, calling them “very tough” and “expensive.” Hours later, Vice President Mike Pence said the agency would issue new recommendations.

Mr. Trump also threatened to cut federal funding for schools that did not fully reopen, pointing to schools in other countries that had done so without issue. But in countries like Germany, children returned to classes only after the virus was brought under control.

Higher education: The administration said this week that it would strip international students of their visas if their colleges held classes entirely online — a move seen as putting pressure on universities to reopen for in-person teaching this fall. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued to block the directive.

Details: The U.S. now has more than three million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 131,000 deaths, by far the world’s largest outbreak.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the outbreaks.

In other developments:

Hong Kong has entered what one health official called “a third wave” of coronavirus infections, as the authorities reported 38 new cases on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A New Zealand man who tested positive for the virus will face criminal charges after sneaking out of a hotel quarantine site, the public broadcaster RNZ reported.

Thousands of Serbs demonstrated for a second night on Wednesday, in part against President Aleksandar Vucic’s handling of the crisis. They were met by a violent police response that some analysts said harkened back to the 1990s.

Japan’s theme parks banned screaming on roller coasters over fears that it could spread the virus. “Please scream inside your heart,” one commercial said.

The British government has announced $38 billion worth of tax and spending measures meant to preserve and create jobs, fearing an avalanche of layoffs in the fall.

With a wage subsidy program set to end in October, the plan released Wednesday includes tax cuts, employment coaching and even a 50 percent discount for diners who go to restaurants and pubs.

Britain’s economy contracted 25 percent in just two months, the same amount it had grown in the last 18 years, said Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the Exchequer.

Details: Britain’s popular furlough program has paid up to 80 percent of the wages of 9.4 million workers, helping to keep the unemployment rate to 3.9 percent. But that rate could climb to 11.7 percent by the year’s end, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned on Tuesday.

Also: The head of London’s police said on Wednesday that the force would review its handcuffing practices after two Black athletes were handcuffed during a traffic stop on Saturday.

President Emmanuel Macron has long pledged to make equality for French women “the cause of my term,” and he has vowed to end violence against women.

So there was consternation among French feminists this week over his new cabinet choices: Gerald Darmanin, the new interior minister and head of the national police, who has been accused of rape, and Eric Dupond-Moretti, Mr. Macron’s choice for justice minister, a celebrity lawyer known for insensitive remarks.

For many, the appointments signaled the end of the government’s commitment to advancing the rights of women in France, where the #MeToo movement has raised some awareness of sexism but society remains deeply patriarchal, our correspondent writes.

Outside feminist circles, reaction to the appointments was far more muted.

Details: A member of Mr. Darmanin’s political party accused him of having raped her in 2009. He has maintained that the encounter was consensual. And activists have not forgiven Mr. Dupond-Moretti for calling the trial of a local official accused of several rapes, whom he defended, “an illustration of the war between the sexes.”

#MeToo in Egypt: In a country where women who are sexually assaulted are often blamed for it, the arrest of a male Egyptian university student after a flood of accusations from women on social media has raised hopes for a reckoning.

Since it was built in the sixth century, Hagia Sophia, seen in the background above, has been a Byzantine cathedral, a mosque under the Ottomans and finally a museum in what is now Istanbul, making it a potent symbol of Christian-Muslim rivalry.

Now, a push by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to declare it a working mosque threatens to set off an international furor, escalating tensions with Greece and upsetting Christians around the world.

Floods in Japan: At least 58 people died as torrential rains spurred widespread evacuations. Tens of thousands of troops, police officers and other rescue workers are working through mud and debris in the hardest-hit towns along the Kuma River.

Burkina Faso violence: The bodies of at least 180 men thought to have been killed by security forces have been found dumped in fields, by roadsides and under bridges in a town in the West African country over the past eight months, witnesses told human rights researchers.

What we’re reading: This Sahan Journal feature about Minnesota’s first Somali public school principals. Abdi Latif Dahir, our East Africa correspondent, calls it “an inspiring story.”

Cook: The perfect summer pound cake takes no special equipment or skill to pull off, as this peach version proves.

Watch: In “The Beach House,” the writer-director Jeffrey A. Brown’s debut feature, a romantic getaway (remember those?) becomes a surreal nightmare.

Do: You may have developed some good habits in lockdown, but how do you maintain them once it ends? There are strategies to help you keep up the home cooking and regular exercise. Start preparing now.

Staying safe at home is easier when you have plenty of things to read, cook, watch and do. At Home has our full collection of ideas.

Growing scientific evidence suggests that the coronavirus can stay aloft for hours in tiny droplets in stagnant air, infecting people as they inhale. The risk is highest in crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation, and it may help explain past superspreading events in meatpacking plants, churches and restaurants. Here’s a look at what we know.

What does it mean for a virus to be airborne?

That means that it can be carried through the air in a viable form. H.I.V., too delicate to survive outside the body, is not airborne. Measles is airborne, and dangerously so: It can survive in the air for up to two hours.

For the coronavirus, the distinction has been more complicated. Experts agree that the virus does not travel long distances or stay viable outdoors. But evidence suggests that it can traverse the length of a room and, under one set of experimental conditions, remain a threat for up to three hours.

How are aerosols different from droplets?

Aerosols are droplets, droplets are aerosols — they do not differ except in size.

From the start of the pandemic, the World Health Organization and other public health agencies have focused on the virus’s ability to spread through large droplets that are expelled when a symptomatic person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets are heavy, relatively speaking, and fall quickly to the floor or onto a surface that others may touch. This is why public health officials have recommended maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others, as well as frequent hand washing.

Should I start wearing a hospital-grade mask indoors? And how long is too long to stay in a room with other people?

Health care workers may all need to wear N95 masks, which filter out most aerosols. For the rest of us, cloth face masks will still greatly reduce risk, as long as most people wear them.

As for how long is safe, a lot depends on whether the room is too crowded to allow for safe distancing from others and whether fresh air is circulating through the room.

That’s it for this briefing. Here’s a summer deep house set to lift your spirits. See you next time.

— Isabella

Thank youTo Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

P.S.• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about how The Times got access to a database of coronavirus cases, and what it revealed. • Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Light years away (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.• Our international correspondent Patrick Kingsley joined the RTE Radio 1 show The Business to discuss the future of the entertainment industry in Europe.


Australia Halts Hong Kong Extradition Agreement and Extends Visas

HONG KONG — Australia will suspend its extradition agreement with Hong Kong because of the new national security law imposed by China and extend temporary visas for Hong Kongers in the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

The announcement, which came on the heels of Canada’s suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and Britain’s statement that it was considering a similar move because of the punitive law, threatened to deepen the diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

Mr. Morrison said Australia’s visa extension for people from Hong Kong who are already in the country, which would allow them to stay for an additional five years, would also open a path to permanent residency for them. He also suggested businesses should move from Hong Kong to his country, declaring, “We are a great immigration nation.”

On Thursday, Australia also warned its citizens not to travel to Hong Kong, citing questions about the interpretation of the security law and the risk of Australians being sent to mainland China for prosecution.

“You may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds,” Australia’s travel advice states. “You could break the law without intending to.”

The announcements were the latest in a series of moves by countries in response to a law that has drastically increased the role of Beijing’s security services in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous former British colony that returned to China in 1997. It raised fears that Beijing would curb free speech, the ability to assemble and other rights that have traditionally been better protected in Hong Kong than in mainland China.

Mr. Morrison said Australia’s decisions were in response to the potentially sweeping effects of the new security law imposed on Hong Kong.

“Our government, together with other governments around the world, have been very consistent in expressing our concerns about the imposition of the national security law on Hong Kong,” Mr. Morrison said. “Today we have agreed to announce that that national security law constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances in respect to our extradition agreement with Hong Kong.”

He said that the government was not expecting large numbers of new applications from Hong Kong, and the application and approval processes would remain unchanged.

Australia’s move is not as sweeping as Britain’s decision to open a path to citizenship for as many as three million Hong Kongers.

In an editorial on Wednesday, The Global Times, which is owned by the Communist Party of China, warned that the Australian economy would have a “bitter pill to swallow” if Canberra gave Hong Kong citizens a “safe haven.”


Study of 17 Million Identifies Crucial Risk Factors for Coronavirus Deaths

An analysis of more than 17 million people in England — the largest study of its kind, according to its authors — has pinpointed a bevy of factors that can raise a person’s chances of dying from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

The paper, published Wednesday in Nature, echoes reports from other countries that identify older people, men, racial and ethnic minorities, and those with underlying health conditions among the more vulnerable populations.

“This highlights a lot of what we already know about Covid-19,” said Uchechi Mitchell, a public health expert at the University of Illinois at Chicago who was not involved in the study. “But a lot of science is about repetition. The size of the study alone is a strength, and there is a need to continue documenting disparities.”

The researchers mined a trove of de-identified data that included health records from about 40 percent of England’s population, collected by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Of 17,278,392 adults tracked over three months, 10,926 reportedly died of Covid-19 or Covid-19-related complications.

“A lot of previous work has focused on patients that present at hospital,” said Dr. Ben Goldacre of the University of Oxford, one of the authors on the study. “That’s useful and important, but we wanted to get a clear sense of the risks as an everyday person. Our starting pool is literally everybody.”

Dr. Goldacre’s team found that patients older than 80 were at least 20 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those in their 50s, and hundreds of times more likely to die than those below the age of 40. The scale of this relationship was “jaw-dropping,” Dr. Goldacre said.

Additionally, men stricken with the virus had a higher likelihood of dying than women of the same age. Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, severe asthma and compromised immunity were also linked to poor outcomes, in keeping with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States. And the researchers noted that a person’s chances of dying also tended to track with socioeconomic factors like poverty.

The data roughly mirror what has been observed around the world and are not necessarily surprising, said Avonne Connor, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in the study. But seeing these patterns emerge in a staggeringly large data set “is astounding” and “adds another layer to depicting who is at risk” during this pandemic, Dr. Connor said.

Particularly compelling were the study’s findings on race and ethnicity, said Sharrelle Barber, an epidemiologist at Drexel University who was not involved in the study. Roughly 11 percent of the patients tracked by the analysis identified as nonwhite. The researchers found that these individuals — particularly Black and South Asian people — were at higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than white patients.

That trend persisted even after Dr. Goldacre and his colleagues made statistical adjustments to account for factors like age, sex and medical conditions, suggesting that other factors are playing a major role.

An increasing number of reports have pointed to the pervasive social and structural inequities that are disproportionately burdening racial and ethnic minority groups around the world with the coronavirus’s worst effects.

Some experts pointed out flaws in the researchers’ methodology that made it difficult to quantify the exact risks faced by members of the vulnerable groups identified in the study. For instance, certain medical conditions that can exacerbate Covid-19, like chronic heart disease, are more prevalent among Black people than white people.

The researchers removed such variables to focus solely on the effects of race and ethnicity. But because Black individuals are also more likely to experience stress and be denied access to medical care in many parts of the world, the disparity in rates of heart disease may itself be influenced by racism, said Usama Bilal, an epidemiologist at Drexel University who was not involved in the new analysis. Ignoring the contribution of heart disease, then, could end up inadvertently discounting part of the relationship between race and ethnicity and Covid-19-related deaths.

The study was also not set up to conclusively show cause-and-effect relationships between risk factors and Covid-19 deaths.

Regardless of the methodological drawbacks of this study, experts agree that “the causes of disparities, whether in Covid-19 or other aspects of health, are intricately linked to structural racism,” Dr. Mitchell said.

In the United States, Latino and African-American residents are three times as likely to become infected by the coronavirus as white residents, and nearly twice as likely to die.

Many of these individuals work as front-line employees, or are tasked with essential in-person jobs that prevent them from sheltering in place at home. Some live in multigenerational households that can compromise effective physical distancing. Others must cope with language barriers and implicit bias when they seek medical care.

Any study publishing data on an ongoing and fast-shifting pandemic will inevitably be imperfect, said Julia Raifman, an epidemiologist at Boston University who was not involved in the study. But the new paper helps address “a real paucity of data on race,” Dr. Raifman added. “These disparities are not just happening in the United States.”

With regard to the racial inequities in this pandemic, Dr. Barber said, “I think what we’re seeing is real, and it’s not a surprise. We can learn from this study and improve on it. It gives us clues into what might be happening.”

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Serbia Protests Meet Violent Response in Europe’s 1st Major Virus Unrest

Thousands of Serbs demonstrated for a second consecutive night on Wednesday in response to President Aleksandar Vucic’s management of the coronavirus crisis and wider concerns over the state of democracy in Serbia.

The protests were the first major pandemic-related unrest in Europe since the start of the crisis, and were met by a violent police response that some analysts said they had not witnessed in Serbia since the rule of Slobodan Milosevic, who governed Serbia during the 1990s.

Serbs first took to the streets on Tuesday, soon after Mr. Vucic announced that Belgrade would be placed under a new three-day lockdown following a second wave of confirmed coronavirus infections.

But the demonstrations quickly morphed into a wider expression of frustration at Mr. Vucic’s increasing control over policymaking and perceived mismanagement of Serbia’s pandemic response. The protests continued on Wednesday, even after Mr. Vucic suspended his decision to enforce a second shutdown.

Protesters said they were less angry about the re-implementation of the lockdown than the governmental missteps that had created the need for renewed restrictions in the first place. These included decisions to proceed with a general election last week and to restart large public sports events.

“We don’t mind staying home for another three days — that wasn’t the problem,” said Dragana Grncarski, 45, a fashion events manager who protested on both days.

“However, they’re playing with our minds and with the truth,” Ms. Grncarski added. “When it suits them to do elections, there is no corona. They organized football matches and tennis matches, and because of that we have a situation where the hospitals are full.”

After initially enforcing one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns in March, Mr. Vucic lifted social restrictions in early May, claiming his government had defeated the coronavirus.

But while other European countries eased their lockdowns gradually, Mr. Vucic opted for a faster process, soon allowing Serbs to gather by the tens of thousands without social distancing at sports matches and to crowd into reopened nightclubs.

“We went from one extreme to another,” said Jelena Vasiljevic, an expert on Balkan protest movements at the University of Belgrade.

Mr. Vucic initially refused to change course on the re-openings, even as the daily number of new cases rose from below 20 to above 300 and investigative news reports suggested that the toll could be even higher.

He pressed ahead with a controversial general election on July 21 that most opposition parties had long planned to boycott, saying they did not want to legitimize a process that they feel is gamed in Mr. Vucic’s favor.

And to Mr. Vucic’s critics, his decision first to ease restrictions ahead of a vote that was certain to increase his power — and then reinstate them soon after — felt like he was playing politics with public health.

“Citizens have been constantly deceived and lied to for political ends,” said Tena Prelec, an expert on politics in southeast Europe at the University of Oxford.

Analysts said the spontaneous nature of the protests reflected the lack of institutional means to express dissent.

Under Mr. Vucic, the quality of Serbian democracy has fallen from “free” to only “partly free,” according to Freedom House, an independent Washington-based watchdog that makes an annual assessment of each country’s political freedoms.

“The media and state institutions are completely consumed by one party,” said Dr. Vasiljevic.

On Tuesday night, some protesters briefly entered the Parliament building before being forced out by police.

Law enforcement officials were later filmed beating unarmed protesters with batons, in scenes that some analysts said mirrored police behavior during the rule of Mr. Milosevic, who led Serbia through the Balkan Wars and was later tried for war crimes in The Hague.

“The excessive use of force — we haven’t seen that since Milosevic in 1996 or 1997,” Dr. Vasiljevic said.

Mr. Vucic said police were right to respond with force.

“There were indications of foreign involvement, and some criminal faces were there, too,” Mr. Vucic said, speaking on Wednesday afternoon, before the second night of protests.

“The aim was to damage Serbia’s international image,” he added.

The protests could soon fizzle because of their leaderless nature, the lack of a clear goal and the strength of Mr. Vucic’s grip on Serbia, Dr. Vasiljevic said.

Similar mass demonstrations dissipated last year without forcing concessions from Mr. Vucic.

“This situation is a bit different,” said Dr. Vasiljevic. “But we still need to have some clear political articulations, and a clear political narrative.”