Coronavirus Global Updates: Over 12.94 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide and 5,67,357 people have died, Reuters reported on Monday. Since its identification in China in late December last year, coronavirus cases have been reported in more than 210 countries across the world.
The head of the World Health Organization has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening globally and things won’t return to the old normal for some time. At a press briefing Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that �there will be no return to the old normal for the foreseeable future. Tedros said that while numerous countries, especially in Europe and Asia, have brought outbreaks under control, too many others are seeing virus trends move in the wrong direction. Tedros also chastised political leaders for mixed messages about outbreaks that damage trust, without referring to any politicians by name.
The United States has the maximum number of cases at over 3.37 million, followed by 1.87 million in Brazil, 8,78,000 cases in India, 7,27,000 confirmed cases in Russia and 3,26,000 cases in Peru.
Hong Kong increases social distancing measures
Hong Kong has banned public gatherings of more than four and required face coverings on public transport as the city battles an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Restaurants won’t be allowed to offer dine-in services from 6 pm to 5 am, while fitness centres and beauty salons will be closed for 7 days. The measures take effect July 15. The city will also increase testing to identify asymptomatic patients who are infected.
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam, who announced the measures on Monday, also urged the private sector to put in place work-from-home arrangements for employees. On Monday, 41 out of 52 coronavirus infections reported in Hong Kong were locally-transmitted cases. Since July 6, Hong Kong has reported 250 new cases, with Monday’s tally being the highest since March.
UK PM calls on people to wear face masks in shops
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that he is looking into enforcement measures that may be required around face coverings in enclosed public spaces as he called on people to use them in shops in order to curb COVID-19 transmission.
At present, it is mandatory to wear face masks or coverings only on public transport in most regions of the UK but there has been a growing debate around a wider mandatory approach as Britain gradually emerged from the coronavirus lockdown.
“I think people should be wearing (face masks) in shops. And, in terms of how we do that, whether we make it mandatory or not, we’ll be looking at the guidance we’ll be seeing a little bit more in the next few days,” he said, when asked about face coverings during a visit to ambulance staff in central London.
“Throughout this crisis, people have shown amazing sensitivity towards other people and understanding of the needs to get the virus down by doing things cooperatively. Wearing masks is one of them… It’s a mutual thing; people do see the value of it. We’ll be looking in the next few days about exactly how with what tools of enforcement we think we want to make progress,” he said.
Australia fears virus may spread despite dip
Australia’s worst-hit Victoria state recorded only 177 new coronavirus cases on Monday, but a health official is warning the disease’s spread might yet worsen. The new cases were substantially down from 273 cases on Sunday and a record 288 on Friday.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was too early to say whether the lower count meant the spread was being contained. “It’s great it’s lower than our peak. But it may not be our peak yet,” Sutton said. “So I would like to see a week of decreasing numbers before I come and say I have greater confidence about the direction we’re going in.”
Melbourne, Australia’s second-most popular city, and a part of its surrounds in Victoria returned to lockdown last week in a bid to contain the disease spread. Australia has recorded around 10,000 COVID-19 cases and 108 deaths.
Postal voting for over 700,00 Sri Lankan officials begins amid new COVID-19 threat
The postal voting for over 700,000 Sri Lankan officers, who will be on duty on August 5 for the parliamentary polls, began on Monday amidst special security measures, following a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The voting will go on for 5 days with two days reserved next week for those who fail to cast their vote this week. Over 700,000 officers who will be on election duty on August 5 are eligible to cast their vote.
The election authorities said the voting in the north central town of Rajanganaya was indefinitely postponed due to a COVID-19 threat. According to the health officials, a cluster has been forming in the area since last week with the infections from a drug rehabilitation center at Kandakadu in Polonnaruwa district.
Nearly 500 new infection, including 70 students, were detected from Kandakadu cluster. Around 600 close contacts of those who tested positive have been sent for quarantine. “The cluster can be controlled,” Dr Anil Jasinghe, the director general of health services, said, adding that the public had lowered guard against COVID-19 as the country was being re-opened after the lockdown.
1,282 Covid-19 cases in Indonesia
Indonesia reported 1,282 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the country’s total tally to 76,981, Reuters quoted Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto as saying.
The minister said deaths rose by 50, bringing the total death toll to 3,656, the highest in East Asia outside China.
Hong Kong reports 52 new cases
Hong Kong Monday recorded 52 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, Reuters quoted health authorities as saying.
The Chinese-ruled city has reported over 1,500 cases and seven deaths since late January.
India reports 500 Covid-19 deaths in a day
India reported around 28,701 cases of coronavirus on Monday, yet another record single-day jump, bringing its total tally to 8,78,254, while another 500 people died due to the disease in the past 24 hours, pushing the total death toll to 23,174, data from the Health Ministry showed.
As many as 5,53,470 people have recovered while there are 3,01,609 active cases. Monday marks the fourth straight day where new cases have increased by over 26,000.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said nearly 1,18,06,256 samples have been tested so far.
South Africa extends national state of disaster amid rise in coronavirus cases
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extension of the country’s national state of disaster till August 15 as the number of coronavirus cases increased exponentially, PTI reported.
Ramaphosa also announced an immediate curfew from 9 pm to 4 am daily and reintroduced a ban on sale and distribution of alcohol to reduce strain on medical facilities.
The president said there were as many as 2,76,242 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 4,079 deaths.
Victoria records 177 new Covid-19 cases
Australia’s worst-hit Victoria state Monday recorded around 177 new cases of coronavirus, the Associated Press reported.
New cases came down from 273 the previous day and a record 288 cases on Friday. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was too early to say whether the lower count meant the spread was being contained.
Australia’s second most popular city Melbourne and a part of its surrounding in Victoria returned to lockdown last week to contain an increase in coronavirus cases.
Australia has so far reported around 10,000 Covid-19 cases, with 108 deaths.
Remdesivir helps improve condition of 1 in 3 severely ill Covid-19 patients in South Korea
One in three South Korean patients seriously ill with Covid-19 showed an improvement in their condition after being administered the antiviral drug Remdesivir, Reuters quoted health authorities as saying. Remdesivir has been at the forefront of the global battle against the coronavirus pandemic after the drug helped reduce hospital recovery times in a US clinical trial.
The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported results from a first group of 27 patients given remdesivir in different hospitals. While 9 of them showed an improvement, 15 showed no change and three worsened, KCDC deputy director Kwon Jun-wook told a briefing. 62 new cases were confirmed in the country on Sunday, pushing its total tally to 13,479 with 289 fatalities.
Pakistan coronavirus cases cross 2,50,000
Pakistan on Monday reported 2,769 new cases of coronavirus, taking its total tally to over 2,50,000, PTI quoted the health ministry as saying.
According to the Ministry of National Health Services, 69 more people succumbed to the disease, taking the death toll to 5,226. Around 1,837 patients were in critical condition.
A total of 1,585,170 tests have been conducted, including 22,532 in the last 24 hours.
159 new Covid-19 cases in Germany
Germany on Monday added 159 new cases to its coronavirus tally, taking the total number of infections in the country to 198,963, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed, Reuters reported.
One death was reported, pushing the total number of deaths to 9,064.
New York City reaches milestone with no reported virus deaths
New York City, once the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, has just reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths since the pandemic hit New York State.
The milestone came Sunday in initial data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. It marked the end of a four-month stretch since the city reported its first Covid-19 fatality on March 11.
New York State reported five deaths statewide on Sunday but didn’t specify where those fatalities occurred. The highest number of deaths statewide was reported on April 9, at 799.
New York City has reported a total of 18,670 confirmed Covid-19 deaths and 4,613 probable ones.
Florida reported a record increase of over 15,000 new virus cases in the last 24 hours. The Trump administration, meanwhile, renewed its push to reopen schools and anti-mask protests were held in Michigan and Missouri. Florida reported the fourth highest increase in new cases worldwide.
Mexico surpasses Italy to post world’s fourth-highest coronavirus death toll
But leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that the pandemic was “losing intensity” in Mexico, and blamed what he called “conservative media” for causing alarm.
Mexico on Sunday recorded 276 additional fatalities and 4,482 new infections to bring its coronavirus death toll to 35,006, with 299,750 confirmed cases. Italy has recorded 34,954 deaths and 243,061 cases. Mexico trails the United States, Brazil and the UK in total deaths.
While Italy appears to have tamed the virus, the pandemic is showing few signs of easing in Mexico, where the government has faced criticism for reopening its economy too soon.
The coronavirus death toll per million residents in Mexico, whose population numbers about 120 million, is the 16th highest in the world, according to data by research firm Statista.
Local infections in China fall to near zero
China reported eight new cases, all from outside the country, as domestic community infections fell to near zero, the Associated Press reported.
No more deaths were reported and 320 patients were being treated, while another 117 people were under isolation while being monitored for being suspected of having the virus or having tested positive for it without showing symptoms.
China has so far reported 4,634 deaths and 83,602 cases of coronavirus.
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