Coronavirus live news: US deaths near 150,000 as Hong Kong warns hospitals could collapse

Coronavirus live news: US deaths near 150,000 as Hong Kong warns hospitals could collapseJuly 29, 2020

Hong Kong outbreak ‘overwhelming’ medical system; pilgrims quarantined in Mecca as hajj begins; WHO warns pandemic is ‘one big wave’

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The Covid-19 pandemic is unfolding in “one big wave” with no evidence that it follows seasonal variations common to influenza and other coronaviruses, such as the common cold, the World Health Organization has warned.

Amid continued debates over what constitutes a second wave, a resurgence or seasonal return of the disease, Margaret Harris, a WHO spokesperson, insisted these discussions are not a helpful way to understand the spread of the disease.

Related: ‘One big wave’ – why the Covid-19 second wave may not exist

Pilgrims, donning face masks and moving in small groups after days in isolation, began arriving to Islam’s holiest site in Mecca on Wednesday for the start of a historically unique and scaled-down hajj experience reshaped by the pandemic, the Associated Press reports.

Rather than standing and praying shoulder-to-shoulder in a sea of people, pilgrims are social distancing, standing apart and moving in small groups of 20 to limit exposure and the potential transmission of the coronavirus.

Words aren’t enough to explain how blessed I feel and how amazing the arrangements have been. They have taken every possible precaution.

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