65,000 people fly in and out of Wuhan in one day as domestic flights normalise

The number of domestic passengers arriving in Wuhan has returned to pre-pandemic levels as China closes in on having a month without registering a locally transmitted case.

Meanwhile, cases are surging in Indonesia, Austria and the Czech Republic — where there have been four days of record daily infection rises in the past week.

This story will be regularly updated throughout Monday.

Monday’s key moments:

Domestic flights back to normal in outbreak’s epicentre

Domestic air travel in Wuhan, the epicentre of the global coronavirus outbreak, has returned to pre-pandemic levels, authorities say.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan late last year and the city underwent a draconian 76-day lockdown as its hospitals struggled to deal with a wave of cases that required the rapid construction of field hospitals to handle the overflow.

Since reopening in early April, life has gradually returned to normal and numbers of domestic flights serving the city, as well as the number of passengers, had both fully recovered, according to the operator of Wuhan Tianhe International airport.

It said 64,700 passengers were transported aboard 500 domestic flights on Friday.

The airport is preparing to eventually resume international passenger flights to destinations such as Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, Qu Xiaoni, the state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted an airport representative as saying.

International cargo routes have already re-opened.

China has gone almost a month without registering a new case of local transmission and on Sunday the National Health Commission reported just 10 new cases — all of them imported.

Hospitals are treating 151 people for COVID-19 and another 357 people are in isolation after testing positive for the disease without showing any symptoms, the commission said.

China has reported a total of 85,184 cases of COVID-19 with 4,634 deaths.

Indonesia reports sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new infections

A health worker in protective gear uses a spray bottle to disinfect another health worker who is also wearing protective gear.
All non-essential workers in Jakarta will have to work from home for at least the next two weeks.(AP: Firdia Lisnawati)

Indonesia has reported its sixth consecutive day of over 3,000 new cases, just as the capital city of South-East Asia’s most populous country prepares to bring back social-distancing restrictions.

New infections on Sunday reached 3,636 with new deaths at 73. That brought the total number of infections to 218,382 and deaths to 8,723.

To try and stem the spread of the virus in Jakarta, employees of businesses considered non-essential will be required to work from home from Monday.

Certain government workers will be allowed to work from offices.

Markets and shopping centres will be permitted to stay open at half capacity, and restaurants within shopping centres will be allowed to operate for takeaway only.

The curbs will be implemented for two weeks, but could be extended.

Second wave emerges in Austria

Two women wearing face masks walk across a street in bright sunlight.
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian is appealing to his compatriots to comply with newly reinforced rules to keep down infections.(AP: Ronald Zak/File)

Austria’s leader said his country has been seeing the start of a second wave of infections.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced on Friday that the Austrian Government would reimpose measures such as an obligation to wear masks in shops to curb a rise in new infections.

Austria recorded 859 new infections on Friday, the highest daily figure since late March.

Mr Kurz stepped up his rhetoric on Sunday and said developments in Vienna are “particularly dramatic,” with the city accounting for around half of new cases.

Mr Kurz said that Austria will soon be dealing with 1,000 new cases per day.

He called on Austrians to reduce social contacts, wear masks and keep their distance “as well as possible”.

He predicted “a tough autumn and winter,” though he stuck to his assessment that things should be largely normal by next summer.

Record infection rise in Czech Republic

Coronavirus infections have continued to grow in the Czech Republic, reaching a record level for the fourth day this week.

The Health Ministry said the day-to-day increase in new cases reached 1,541 on Saturday, a record high for the country.

Health Minister Adam Vojtech said “nobody expected” such a spike.

The Czech Republic has had 35,401 cases overall, including 453 deaths.