>Virus warning app launched
Germany launched its official COVID-19 warning app which was now available for download to smartphones, the government announced on Tuesday.
Released by Germany's disease control agency Robert Koch Institute, the app informs citizens who had been in contact with an infected person in order to detect and break the chains of infection.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn stressed that the app was "not a panacea, not a free ride ticket, but it is an important additional tool in containing the pandemic."
Downloading and using the app was "a small step for each of us, but a big step in the fight against the pandemic," said head of the Chancellery Helge Braun, adding that citizens could rely on high standards of data protection.
The app was based on a "decentralized software architecture" which stored data on the mobile phones of users instead of a central server.
>US Open to be held without fans
The US Open will be held as scheduled in New York City from Aug 31 to Sept 13 without fans, said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday.
The US Tennis Association (USTA) "will take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff," said Cuomo on Twitter.
He noted that precaution measures will include robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing and transportation.
The decision came as major indicators of the pandemic keep trending down in the northeastern US state with more areas entering a new phase of reopening.
USTA Chief Executive Officer Mike Dowse said in a statement on Tuesday that the association is "incredibly excited" about Cuomo's decision.
"We recognize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times, and we will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks," he said.
>Beijing ups emergency response
Beijing upgraded its public health emergency response to COVID-19 from level III to II starting Tuesday.
Classes are moved online for primary and middle school students, and class resumption of college students will be suspended.
Residents of Beijing's medium- and high-risk areas, as well as those related to the Xinfadi market, should not leave Beijing. Other people who need to leave the city must have negative results of the nucleic acid test taken within seven days.
The epidemic situation in Beijing remains grim, as the city has been reporting a daily double-digit growth in domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases since June 11, said Chen Bei, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing municipal government, at a news conference.
The cluster outbreak, which has affected nine districts and 28 neighborhoods, was initially believed to be caused by human-to-human transmission or contamination of articles and environment, Chen said. She stressed that there had been confirmed secondary infections among close contacts.
>Special bonds to be issued
China will issue 100 billion yuan in special government bonds for COVID-19 control measures in a bid to balance epidemic control with economic and social development, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Monday. The MOF will issue two batches of fixed-rate special bonds, including 50 billion yuan in five-year bonds and 50 billion yuan in seven-year bonds, the MOF said in a statement. Both will be listed and traded on June 23, 2020.
China will pursue a more proactive and impactful fiscal policy, setting its fiscal deficit above 3.6% of GDP and issuing 1 trillion yuan of government bonds for COVID-19 control this year to release more funds for companies and individuals.
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