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Global Coronavirus Updates, July 9: Pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’, 1.3 million Americans seek jobless aid

Global Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: Global coronavirus cases Thursday topped 12 million with 5.5 lakh deaths and 6 million recoveries. The number of cases is triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 9, 2020 9:41:42 pm
Walt Disney World Resort theme parks are preparing for a phased reopening with reduction in capacity starting July 11. (AP/File)

Coronavirus Global Updates: Global coronavirus cases Thursday topped 12 million with 5.5 lakh deaths and 6 million recoveries. The number of cases is triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The United States, which has the maximum number of cases worldwide, reported more than 59,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday — the biggest increase ever reported by a country in a single day, according to a Reuters tally. The US now has more than 3 million infections. China’s capital city Beijing, which had recently seen an uptick in infections, appeared to make headway in stamping out the outbreak, reporting no new local cases for the third day.

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Here’s the latest global covid-19 news that you should know

Trump rally likely fueled virus cases, Tulsa official says

The top health official in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said that President Donald Trump’s June 20 campaign rally and accompanying protests likely boosted the number of coronavirus infections in the area.

Trump held the rally despite pleas from local authorities to delay it as they were already seeing a rise in cases. An estimated 6,200 people came to the city’s 19,000-seat BOK Center, many without masks. Tulsa County accounts for 4,571 of Oklahoma’s 17,893 Covid-19 cases, or about 26%, according to county and state data. The county reported 261 and 206 cases for Monday and Tuesday, eclipsing Tuesday’s seven-day rolling average of 146.7.

Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20.

In another development, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding if schools didn’t reopen in the fall, and lashed out at federal health officials over reopening guidelines that, he said, were impractical and expensive. Later, Vice President Pence said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue new guidance for the reopening of schools in the fall. Pence called it “absolutely essential” for students to return to the classroom for in-person learning.

Hong Kong’s new outbreak worsens; Germany sees a drop

An almost three-week lull in local infections has come to an abrupt end in Hong Kong, with 19 new cases reported Wednesday. The government has expressed fears that the city might be in the early days of a wider outbreak. It also found six additional locally-transmitted cases after the 4 pm cutoff time for the daily count on Wednesday, HK01 reported.

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate fell the second day in a row, while the number of new cases stayed far below the level at the height of the outbreak. The reproduction factor — or R value — dropped to 0.70 on Wednesday from 0.81 the previous day, according to the latest estimate by the country’s health body.

Explained: The strange case of Turkmenistan, the country with ‘no COVID-19 cases’

Commuters wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk through a subway station in Beijing (AP)

Ivy League scraps sports in coming semester

The Ivy League is canceling sports competition for the upcoming semester because of health concerns about the pandemic, becoming the first Division I conference in the US to scrap football.

The conference, whose eight members include Harvard University, Yale University and Princeton University, made the move Wednesday, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The decision will affect not only fall sports, including soccer, but also winter sports played in the semester, such as basketball. The league is still open to the possibility of spring competition.

Coronavirus, WHO on Coronavirus, Coronavirus lockdown, COVID lockdown, coronavirus global cases, covid global cases Funeral workers wearing protective gear as a precaution amid the new coronavirus pandemic push the remains of a COVID-19 victim into a funeral car at a field hospital in Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP/File)

EU situation ‘very fragile’, health chief says

Stella Kyriakides, the European Union health commissioner, said the 27-nation bloc must anticipate a second virus wave and prepare steps to control it. “The situation remains very fragile and we see this in a number of member states,” Kyriakides told the European Parliament in Brussels. “A safe and effective vaccine likely remains the only permanent solution to this pandemic, but this is still some time away.”

The EU is “fully engaged” in talks with pharmaceutical companies to ensure adequate supplies for the bloc of any vaccines, she said.

Turkey to appoint ‘observers’ to ensure social distancing

Turkey is preparing to appoint “observers” at weddings and engagement parties to ensure that social distancing practices are adhered. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters following a weekly meeting of the country’s scientific advisory council on Wednesday that the decision was reached after several recent COVID-19 outbreaks were traced back to weddings. Turkey saw an uptick in daily confirmed infections and deaths in mid-June, after it eased restrictions aimed at curbing the virus’ spread. On Wednesday, the total number of infections in Turkey rose to 208,938. The death toll now stands at 5,282.

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus, walk on a busy street, in Ankara, Turkey (AP)

US government to advise health care workers to reuse PPE

Vice President Mike Pence says the US government will issue guidance encouraging front-line health care workers to reuse personal protective equipment. Pence, speaking at White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Wednesday, added that PPE supplies remain “very strong” but the Trump administration will be encouraging healthcare workers “to use some of the best practices” to “preserve and reuse” face masks and other protective equipment.

Healthcare workers help each other with their personal protective equipment at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens (AP)

Cases rise in Australia; lockdown in worst-hit Victoria state

coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19 news, corona news, covid 19 usa, covid 19 russia, russia coronavirus, usa coronavirus cases, spain coronavirus, coronavirus us, us coronavirus news, covid 19 tracker, italy coronavirus news, india coronavirus news, coronavirus latest update, coronavirus today update, corona cases worldwide Police stop drivers at a checkpoint, set up in response to the state of Victoria’s surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and resulting suburb lockdowns, in Melbourne. (Photo: Reuters)

Amidst the rising number of coronavirus cases in Australia, authorities in Melbourne and some regional parts of the hardest-hit Victoria state on Thursday entered into its first day of the second lockdown, imposing restrictions for next six weeks.

Victoria recorded another 165 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours including several hospital and aged care workers, on the first day of its second lockdown.

Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) remained closed temporarily along with Victoria to arrest the spread of the COVID-19.

Tokyo Olympic Games face skeptics

The spokesman for the Tokyo Olympics expects the postponed games to go ahead in 2021 despite a recent poll in Japan in which 77% of respondents said they did not believe the games could be held next year. The poll by the Japan News Network said only 17% thought it could be held next year in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Masa Takaya, the spokesman, was speaking Thursday on remote hookup on a day of contentious news for the Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo’s city government reported a single-day record of 224 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, surpassing a high of 204 in April. Though low by many standards, it marks a steady increase over the last week in the Japanese capital. Japan has recorded about 1,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Many more Americans likely sought jobless aid as virus surges back

The US government will provide its latest snapshot Thursday of the layoffs that have remained stuck at an elevated weekly pace above 1 million since the coronavirus erupted in March even as newly re-opened businesses have rehired some workers.

A resurgence of confirmed viral cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery.

Though the weekly toll of job cuts has gradually dropped, the pace of improvement has essentially stalled as companies continue to shed workers.

A resurgence of confirmed viral cases is threatening to derail what had looked like the start of an economic recovery. In June, employers added a substantial 4.8 million jobs, and the unemployment rate fell from 13.3% to a still-high 11.1%.

China cancels all international sports events for the year

China says it will not stage any international sports for the rest of the year, apart from trials for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and the neighboring city of Zhangjiakou. The order from the General Administration of Sports affects at least six WTA tennis events, including the WTA Finals in Shenzhen in November. China also has four ATP tournaments lined up.

China has largely contained local transmission of the coronavirus but remains on guard for imported cases. The General Administration of Sports cited ?science and order? in issuing its plan to proceed on Thursday.

Rishi Sunak warns of significant recession and jobs crunch in UK

British Fiance Minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday reiterated his previous warnings that he would not be able to save every job and that the UK was headed towards a “significant recession” hit by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

“I am absolutely anxious about the state of the economy,” Rishi Sunak told Sky News.

A day after he tabled a mini-budget in Parliament, the Indian-origin Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that despite his 30 billion pounds package of measures he won’t be able to ?protect every single job” as businesses reopen following a three-month shutdown.

“I am absolutely anxious about the state of the economy,” he told Sky News’.

“We are, as I’ve said before, entering into a very significant recession. We know that that is happening,” he said. He said the forecasts of mass unemployment “weigh very heavily on me”.

US layoffs stuck at high level as 1.3 million seek aid

More than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a historically high pace that shows that many employers are still laying people off in the face of a resurgent coronavirus. The persistently elevated level of layoffs are occurring as a spike in virus cases has forced six states to reverse their move to reopen businesses. Those six – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Texas – make up one-third of the US economy.

us jobless aid, us unemployment, coronavirus unemployment, unemployment due to lockdown, indian express The total number of people who are receiving jobless benefits dropped 700,000 to 18 million. (AP Photo)

Fifteen other states have suspended their re-openings. Collectively, the pullback has stalled a tentative recovery in the job market and is likely triggering additional layoffs. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the number of applications for unemployment aid fell from 1.4 million in the previous week. The figure has now topped 1 million for 16 straight weeks. Before the pandemic, the record high for weekly unemployment applications was fewer than 700,000.

The total number of people who are receiving jobless benefits dropped 700,000 to 18 million. That suggests that some companies are continuing to rehire workers. An additional 1 million people sought benefits last week under a separate program for self-employed and gig workers that has made them eligible for aid for the first time. These figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the government doesn’t include them in the official count.

COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching ‘full speed’

The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief said Thursday, while a South African official said a single province is preparing 1.5 million graves.

Just a day after confirmed coronavirus cases across Africa surpassed the half-million milestone the total was over 522,000 and climbing, with more than 12,000 deaths. With testing levels low, the real numbers are unknown.

South Africa has the most confirmed cases with over 224,000, and for the first time Gauteng province — home to Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria — has the country’s most cases with over 75,000, or 33%.

African Union Commission launches consortium for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

With painful memories of many dying in Africa while waiting for accessible HIV drugs years ago, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a consortium aimed at securing more than 10 late-stage COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials on the continent as early as possible.

“We want to be sure we don’t find ourselves in the 1996 scenario where HIV drugs were available but it took almost seven years for those drugs to be accessible on the continent,” Africa CDC director John Nkengasong told reporters. With any COVID-19 vaccine, a ‘delay in Africa of even one year would be catastrophic,’ he said.

He said the consortium of African institutions will engage with the GAVI vaccine alliance and others outside the continent amid efforts to ensure that a vaccine is distributed equitably from the start.

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