24.10.2021

Coronavirus news: Boris Johnson set to make face masks mandatory in shops as WHO reports record global surge in infections

Bolivia’s Health Ministry said the country has 42,984 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,577 deaths, and is seeing an increase in the number of new cases amid reports that hospitals are being overwhelmed in some regions.

The infections in Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia, which is seeing a spike in cases, come after Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernandez tested positive in June and was briefly treated in hospital.

Bolivia’s president and Venezuela’s number two official test positive for coronavirus

Bolivia’s interim president and Venezuela’s number two official have tested positive for coronavirus, days after Brazil’s president was hit by the pandemic.

Three Cabinet ministers in the administration of Bolivian leader Jeanine Anez have also tested positive for the virus, including health minister Eidy Roca and presidency minister Yerko Nunez.

Jeanine Anez said she will remain in isolation for 14 days when another test will be done, but she will continue to work remotely from the presidential residence.

“I feel good, I feel strong,” she wrote on her Twitter account.

Meanwhile, in Venezuela, socialist party chief Diosdado Cabello revealed that he had tested positive for Covid-19, making him the highest-ranking leader in the South American nation to come down with the virus so far.

Mr Cabello is considered the second-most powerful person in Venezuela after president Nicolas Maduro and made the announcement on Twitter, stating that he is isolated, getting treatment and will overcome the illness.

“We will win!” he wrote.

Boris Johnson hints face masks could become compulsory in shops and urges people to return to offices if they can

‘You just need simplicity’

Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, said the message should be compulsory face masks in shops.

“I understand the public health advice, which is that if there’s a risk of being less than two metres close to someone then you should wear it but if not you don’t have to,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“But it doesn’t answer the basic question which is ‘if I’m going shopping, should I wear a face mask or not?’

The chairman of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee added: “I think with public health advice in a pandemic you just need simplicity, so I would favour saying we should wear face masks in shops.”

His comments come after Boris Johnson hinted face coverings could become mandatory for shops in England.

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