Coronavirus Global Updates: More than 11.29 million confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, and at least 5,29,505 people have died due to the disease, Reuters reported. The United States has dipped under 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the July 4th Independence Day weekend will act like rocket fuel for the nation’s surging outbreak. The United States has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to the university.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it is ending a trial into whether anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helps Covid-19 patients. WHO said Saturday it has “accepted the recommendation” from the committee overseeing the trial to discontinue testing of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir, a drug combination used to treat HIV/AIDS. It said a review of the interim results showed hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir “produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care”, further adding that while there was no “solid evidence” of increased mortality for hospitalised patients given the drugs, there were “some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings” of an associated trial.
Italy reports dip in virus cases after 5 days
After five straight days of small increases, the number of day-to-day confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy has dipped.
According to Health Ministry figures on Sunday, 192 cases were registered in the previous 24 hours, compared to 235 in Saturday’s tally.
Feeding some of those recent increases, concerned authorities have said, were hotspots of contagion blamed on infected people entering Italy. Among them was a businessman in northeast Italy who took ill after driving back from a trip in Serbia but despite a fever attended a funeral and a birthday party shortly after he returned home. That man is now hospitalized in intensive care.
Tokyo governor wins 2nd term, buoyed by handling of virus
Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has won a second term to head the Japanese capital, propelled to an election victory Sunday by public support for her handling of the coronavirus crisis despite a recent rise in infections that has raised concerns of a resurgence of the disease.
In her victory speech, Koike, the first woman to lead Tokyo, pledged to continue to take measures to protect the city’s 14 million people amid the pandemic, calling it her most pressing task. Now is a very important time to prepare for a possible second wave, and I will continue to firmly take steps,” she said.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK said its exit polls showed that 74% of respondents supported Koike, with 63 per cent saying they approved of her handling of the coronavirus crisis. Koike, 67, is a veteran conservative who has served in key Cabinet and ruling party posts, and is viewed as a potential candidate to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when his term ends in September 2021.
Iran mandates masks as public shrugs off resurgent virus
Iran on Sunday instituted mandatory mask-wearing as fears mount over newly spiking reported deaths from the coronavirus, even as its public increasingly shrugs off the danger of the COVID-19 illness it causes.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicized an image of himself in a mask in recent days, urging both public officials and the Islamic Republic’s 80 million people to wear them to stop the virus’s spread. But public opinion polling and a walk through any of the streets of Tehran show the widespread apathy felt over a pandemic that saw Iran in February among the first countries struck after China. Whether rooted in fatigue, dismissal or fatalism, that indifference has scared Iranian public health officials into issuing increasingly dire warnings.
“Let me first thank our great people,” a health worker in a hazmat suit in a hospital corridor sarcastically bellows in one dark state TV spot. You hand in hand with the coronavirus defeated us!
The new rules mark a turning point for Iran, which has struggled in trying to balance provincial lockdowns to stop the virus’s spread with the fears of stalling out an economy already struggling under US sanctions after America’s unilateral withdrawal in 2018 from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
British PM to lead UK-wide clap to mark NHS 72nd anniversary
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a nationwide clap to mark the 72nd anniversary of the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) on Sunday.
The British public are being encouraged to join in the round of applause at 1700 hrs (local time) for all the NHS key workers who helped save lives during the coronavirus pandemic. “Seventy-one times before, our National Health Service has marked the anniversary of its founding but never in circumstances quite like this,” said Johnson in a video message on Twitter.
“This year, we’ve seen not only the greatest challenge the NHS has ever faced, but also an unprecedented outpouring of affection and support for that institution.
“Week after week, millions, tens of millions of people have taken to their doorsteps, lined the streets, lent precariously out of rainbow-bedecked windows to clap their hands, bang their saucepans and show their appreciation for the NHS,” he said, in reference to rainbow symbol of support for the taxpayer-funded health service.
The UK prime minister said the three letters don’t just stand for the National Health Service but for an idea and set of values that healthcare must be available and affordable to all, with contributions from all. “As Prime Minister, I”m proud to have given the NHS a 34 billion pounds funding increase, its biggest in decades, and made sure it has every penny it needs to cope with coronavirus,” he added, as he wished the “sprightly” 72-year-old institution a very happy birthday.
In his video message, Prince Charles spoke of gratitude and pride for the “costly sacrifices” of NHS staff.
Trump blames China’s ‘secrecy, cover-up’ for spread of COVID-19
China must be held fully accountable for its “secrecy, deception and cover-up” that allowed it to spread the coronavirus all over the world, US President Donald Trump has said, upping the ante on Beijing over its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Addressing the nation for a second time in as many days on the occasion of 244th Independence Day on Saturday, President Trump touted the country’s “progress” against the COVID-19 disease despite a nationwide spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
“We have the manufacturing record for ventilators. We have the most and the finest testing anywhere in the world. We are producing gowns, masks, and surgical equipment in our country. It was almost exclusively made in foreign lands, in particular, China, where ironically this virus and others came from,” he said in his address from the lawns of the White House.
“China’s secrecy, deception, and cover-up allowed it to spread all over the world, 189 countries and China must be held fully accountable,” he said, once again accusing Beijing of covering up the outbreak of the pandemic.
US dips under 50,000 new coronavirus cases
The United States has dipped under 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the July 4th Independence Day weekend will act like rocket fuel for the nation’s surging outbreak.
Johns Hopkins counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections in the U.S. on Saturday after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases. The lower figure on Saturday does not necessarily mean the situation in the U.S. is improving, as it could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.
The United States has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to the university. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases. To show just how steep the current infection curve is in the U.S., the country was reporting under 20,000 new infections a day as recently as June 15.
Russia’s coronavirus cases near 7,00,000
Russia on Sunday reported 6,736 new cases of coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally to 6,81,251, Reuters reported. The authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,161.
Over 10,000 new cases in a day in South Africa
For the first time, South Africa reported more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 in a single day, the Associated Press reported.
The country now has over 187,977 cases of coronavirus, the highest in any country of Africa, with around 3,000 fatalities. Africa has nearly 450,000 confirmed cases so far.
Cases continue to rise in Gauteng province, home of Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, which has around one-third of the country’s total infections.
Mexico overtakes France to have fifth deadliest virus outbreak
Mexico reported a daily rise of 523 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total to 30,366 and making it the world’s fifth-deadliest country for Covid-19.
Total cases rose by a record 6,914 to 252,165, according to data released by the Health Ministry Saturday night. Mexico overtook Spain and France this week as the pandemic’s toll on the country continued to mount. The data can reflect numbers in addition to the previous 24 hours as it takes the Health Ministry longer than that to compile the data.
Over 200 new cases in Germany
The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 239 on Sunday to reach a total of 196,335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed. The reported death toll rose to 9,012, the tally showed.
Florida, Texas report record daily increase in confirmed cases
Florida and Texas, two states that have emerged as the latest hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, both reported record daily increases in confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, with as many as 20,000 cases in all, Reuters reported.
Texas registered an all-time high in the number of people hospitalised with coronavirus, 7,890 patients after 238 new admissions in the past 24 hours, while New York, the epicentre of the outbreak months ago, reported just 844 hospitalisations on Saturday, far below the nearly 19,000 beds occupied by Covid-19 patients at the peak of the crisis.
Florida’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose by a record 11,458 on Saturday, the state’s health department said, marking the second time in three days that its caseload jumped by 10,000 in 24 hours. Cases in Texas, meanwhile rose by a record 8,258 cases on Saturday. North Carolina, South Carolina, Alaska, Missouri, Idaho, Tennessee and Alabama all registered new daily highs on Friday.
Despite the rising number of infections, the average daily US death toll has gradually declined in recent weeks.
Victoria reports 74 new cases
Australia’s Victoria state recorded 74 new cases of Covid-19 after reporting 108 new cases on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced a lockdown of nine inner-city public housing blocks comprising of 3,000 people, where 27 cases were detected.
South Korea reports over 60 new cases
South Korea reported over 60 new cases of coronavirus for the third consecutive day as the virus spread beyond the greater Seoul area, the Associated Press reported.
The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) Sunday said it has confirmed 61 new cases, bringing the country’s overall tally to 13,091 with as many as 283 deaths. South Korea reported 63 new cases on both Saturday and Friday.
KCDC said 43 of the newly reported cases were locally infected while other 18 were linked to international arrivals. It further said that 41 of the 43 cases were either from the Seoul metropolitan area or two central cities, Gwangju and Daejeon.
China reports 8 new cases of Covid-19
Chinese officials confirmed 8 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
China’s capital Beijing had two new cases, the seventh straight day of single-digit increase. Authorities have confirmed 334 new infections during the city’s outbreak, which was detected about three weeks ago.
China has reported 83,553 cases of coronavirus and 4,634 deaths since the pandemic first began in late December last year.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines