What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

FILE PHOTO: A social distancing sign is seen at Kwik Fit in Bletchley, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Milton Keynes, Britain, June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:

Asymptomatic cases

At least half of Singapore’s newly discovered coronavirus cases show no symptoms, the co-head of the government’s virus task force has told Reuters. The discovery was made in recent weeks as the country, which has one of the highest infection tallies in Asia, increased testing.

“Based on our experience, for every symptomatic case you would have at least one asymptomatic case,” said task force head Lawrence Wong.

While asymptomatic cases had fewer opportunities to spread the virus as they were not coughing or sneezing, there have been cases of asymptomatic transmission, especially between patients living in close quarters.

Dancing Down Under

New Zealand has no active cases of COVID-19 for the first time since Feb. 28, the health ministry said on Monday. The last person being monitored has been released from isolation as he’s been symptom-free and is regarded as recovered.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she “did a little dance” on hearing the news.

As the country begins to open up again, it is looking to its film industry to boost its battered economy. Hollywood director James Cameron and a 55-member crew flew in on a chartered plane last week to film the much-anticipated sequel of the epic science-fiction movie “Avatar”, with government permission.

Air New Zealand laid out an 800-day plan for a return to “healthy profits” by 2022 by being nimbler, flying fewer passengers and routes and with possible further job cuts. “We must first survive, then revive and finally thrive,” CEO Greg Foran said in an email to staff and customers.

Back in business, cautiously

Worshippers wore masks, stood 6 feet apart and went through thermal scanners at Hindu temples while Delhi’s shopping malls were kitted out with disinfection tunnels as India lifted most restrictions on public places.

But the capital will not allow hotels to reopen because it might need them as temporary hospitals if there were a big jump in cases. “Our cases are rising each day; we could run out of beds,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Only the United States, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom have more cases, and experts say India’s peak could still be weeks away, if not months.

Meanwhile, restaurants, shops and transport services were open again in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on Monday despite the country’s biggest daily spike in infections two days earlier.

Russia reopened its borders for its nationals to work, study and get treatment abroad. Muscovites will be able to go out for walks whenever they want from Tuesday, and restaurants and cafes in the capital will be allowed to open their summer verandas from June 16. Russia continues to report thousands of new infections daily.

‘Rubbish’ quarantine

The aviation industry is warning against the UK’s 14-day quarantine plan for international arrivals, which went into effect on Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs, if not millions, could be lost in Britain if aviation is not able to resume quickly, the chief executive of London’s Heathrow Airport said. Low-cost airline easyJet is already planning to cut 4,500 jobs because of the coronavirus crisis and warned that it could have to cut further if the quarantine continues for a long period.

Asked by BBC Radio whether Ryanair would cancel July and August flights if the quarantine remained in place, group CEO Michael O’Leary said: “No, because the flights are full outbound of the UK. British people are ignoring this quarantine, they know it’s rubbish.”

Ryanair, EasyJet and BA-owner IAG have threatened legal action.