Coronavirus: California becomes the most affected US state

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California became the US state most affected by the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, now surpassing New York in the number of confirmed cases. With a record 12,807 infections on Wednesday, the total in California now stands at 413,576 cases, Governor Gavin Newsom said at a press conference.

New York, the US epicenter of the virus at the start of the pandemic, has seen its number of new daily cases drop to 700, for a total of 408,886. However, it retains the record for contaminations per inhabitant and the number of deaths, which exceeds 25,000, more than three times more than California.

Germany demands drug tests for travelers from at-risk countries

Travelers landing at a German airport from a high-risk country will need to be tested for Covid-19, the health ministers of federal states in Germany decided on Wednesday.

Anyone arriving in Germany from a country at risk had to spend two weeks in quarantine. But this measure was difficult to control, which is why the country made this change.

Most countries outside of the European Union (EU) are considered to be at risk by Germany. This is not the case for most of the EU countries, including Belgium.

Confinement in Indian Kashmir, cancellation of the Hindu pilgrimage to Amarnath

Authorities in Indian Kashmir on Wednesday imposed strict containment for a week to deal with the resurgence of the coronavirus in the region, after canceling the important annual Hindu pilgrimage to Amarnath, a first in more than a century. India, which has recorded nearly 1.2 million cases of Covid-19, becoming the third country with the most infections, had largely lifted containment measures to revive its economy.

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But in recent weeks, many states in the country of 1.3 billion people have reimposed restrictions in the face of exploding cases of the disease, raising fears of congestion in health systems.

“Full containment in all the red districts … from tonight”, wrote on Twitter the authorities of Indian Kashmir, specifying that almost the entire Himalayan valley, predominantly Muslim, will be confined until July 29.

The announcement came the day after the cancellation of the Amarnath Yatra – a Hindu pilgrimage to a cave in the region that attracts some 300,000 participants each year – a first in more than a century.

Around 40,000 law enforcement and health professionals are typically deployed during Amarnath, which lasts about two months.

This year, local authorities said they were unable to allocate as many resources to the event in the midst of the health crisis.

So far, Kashmir has reported 16,000 coronavirus cases including 273 deaths for a population of 14 million, local officials said on Wednesday.

The announcement of containment also comes just before the Muslim festival of sacrifice Eid al-Adha and before the first anniversary, on August 5, of the controversial removal of Kashmir autonomy by the Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi.

India and Pakistan are fighting over Kashmir, de facto divided between them, since the partition of the British colonial empire of India in 1947. These two countries have clashed in two wars and in countless skirmishes over it.

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