Coronavirus Global Updates: For the second day in a row, the World Health organisation reported a record spike in global covid-19 cases, with 259,848 new cases in the last 24 hours. Most of the new cases were reported from the US, India, Brazil and South Africa.
The fatalities rose by 7,360, the biggest single-day spike in deaths since 10 May. Nearly 600,000 people have died from the virus till now. Deaths have been rising on an average of 4,800 a day in the month of July. As of Sunday, more than 14.3 million coronavirus infections have been recorded worldwide.
Here are the top global developments
Bangladesh allows phase-3 trial of Chinese vaccine
Bangladesh’s medical regulatory body on Sunday approved the final or phase-3 human trial of a COVID-19 vaccine by a Chinese firm against the deadly disease. The Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) approved the last stage trial of the vaccine by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd as Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDR’B) submitted a research protocol, seeking to carry out the study.
“Our National Research Ethics Committee (of BMRC) has approved phase-3 clinical trial of Sinovac’s (prospective) COVID-19 vaccine,” BMRC director Mahmood-Uz-Jahan said.
China reports 13 new confirmed coronavirus cases
China on Sunday said another 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the northwestern city of Urumqi, raising the total in the country’s most recent local outbreak to at least 30. An additional three cases were brought into the country from overseas, increasing China’s total number of confirmed cases to 83,660 with 4,634 reported deaths.
Despite the Urumqi outbreak, China has just 251 people remaining in treatment for COVID-19, according to the National Health Commission. Another 151 people were being monitored in isolation for showing signs of having the virus or for testing positive without showing symptoms. At least 23 of those asymptomatic cases were in Urumqi, although China does not include those in the numbers of confirmed cases.
Nepal reports 156 new cases
Nepal on Sunday reported 156 new coronavirus cases, taking the national tally to 17,658. Out of 3,741 real-time polymerase chain reaction tests carried out at 27 labs across the country, samples from 156 individuals were positive for COVID-19, said Dr Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, during his daily press briefing.
According to the ministry, 58 people were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking the number of total recovered cases to 11,695. As many as 315,570 PCR tests have been carried out in the country so far. As of Sunday, there are a total of 5,923 active patients undergoing treatment at various health facilities across the country. Nepal has reported a total of 40 fatalities due to the coronavirus.
Second UK-wide COVID-19 lockdown like nuclear deterrent: Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has likened the imposition of a second nation-wide coronavirus lockdown to a ‘nuclear deterrent’ that he would rather not use. In an interview with ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ to mark his one year at 10 Downing Street, Johnson said he did not think the UK would need another complete shutdown in the event of a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Britain has been coming out of lockdown in phases, with the UK PM issuing a back to work call as he handed local councils greater powers to impose localised shutdowns earlier this week. “I can’t abandon that tool any more than I would abandon a nuclear deterrent. But it is like a nuclear deterrent, I certainly don’t want to use it. And nor do I think we will be in that position again,” said Johnson, in reference to a nation-wide lockdown.
Hong Kong tightens anti-coronavirus measures
Hong Kong is tightening anti-coronavirus measures following a recent surge in cases. The wearing of masks will be mandatory in all public places and nonessential civil servants will again work from home.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam introduced the measures on Sunday, saying the situation in the Asian financial hub is “really critical” and that she sees “no sign” that it’s under control.
Coronavirus is not transmitted by mosquitoes: Study
Scientists have confirmed for the first time that the novel coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be transmitted to people by mosquitoes, a finding that adds evidence to WHO’s claim that the disease is not mosquito-borne. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, provided the first experimental evidence on the capacity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, to infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes.
“Here we provide the first experimental data to investigate the capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes,” the study noted. “While the World Health Organization (WHO) has definitively stated that mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus, our study is the first to provide conclusive data supporting the theory,” said Stephen Higgs, a co-author of the research from Kansas State University in the US.
According to the study, conducted at the university’s Biosecurity Research Institute, the virus is unable to replicate in three common and widely distributed species of mosquitoes — Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus, and hence cannot be transmitted to humans. Samples collected by the scientists within two hours of inoculation in mosquitoes confirmed efficient delivery of infectious viruses to these insects.
US death toll surpass 140,000 as pandemic worsens
With more than 140,000 deaths reported till Saturday, the infection graph continues to rise in 43 out of the 50 US states.The country is losing approximately 5,000 people every week.
In the hardest hit US states and counties, places to store bodies are difficult to find as morgues fill up. For instance, Phoenix is bringing in 14 coolers to hold up to 280 bodies and more than double morgue capacity ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus fatalities, officials said on Thursday. Similarly, San Antonio and Bexar counties in texas received 5 refrigerated trailers to store up to 180 bodies.
China’s Xinjiang province reports 13 new cases
China’s far west Xinjiang province, largely untouched by the virus before, has reported 13 new cases from the province’s capital, Urumqi. Yesterday, Urmuqi declared an emergency after 16 new infections came to light. As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,660 confirmed coronavirus cases, the national health authority said. The death toll remained at 4,634.
Mexico reports a record 7,615 new covid-19 cases
Registering another record daily spike in coronavirus cases, Mexico on Saturday reported 7,615 fresh infections, taking the total tally in the country to 338,913, health ministry data showed. In terms of deaths, Mexico’s toll inches closer to the 40,000 mark with 38,888 current fatalities, 578 reported in the last 24 hours.
The real number of infections are likely to be significantly higher than the official numbers, the government said.
“We expect to have a long epidemic, so we have to change personal habits and protect ourselves from risk,”Mexican government’s head of epidemiology, Jose Luis Alomia said.
Australia’s Victoria marks 2 weeks of triple-digit spike in cases
As Australia’s second most populous state marked two-weeks of triple-digit increase in new coronavirus cases, Melbournians not wearing face coverings will be fined 200 australian dollars, said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews. “We’re going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time,” Andrews told a televised briefing.
Victoria, which has put nearly 5 million people into a partial 6-week lockdown on July 9, reported 363 new cases Sunday, after 217 cases the previous day. Victoria will also enforce a mandatory face cover rule in view of rising new coronavirus infections in the state. “We are going to be wearing masks in Victoria, and potentially in other parts of the country, for a very long time. There’s no vaccine to this wildly infectious virus, and it’s a simple thing but it’s about changing habits,” state Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Coronavirus restrictions “suffocated” Brazil’s economy, says Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that the lockdown measures and other restrictions used to prevent the spread of coronavirus have “suffocated” the country’s economy. “Without salaries and jobs, people die” and “lockdown kills”, he said, referring to states that have imposed restrictions.
Bolsonaro has been criticised time and again for downplaying the coronavirus and flouting social distancing measures despite the continuous surge experienced by the world’s second worst-hit country.
His comments come at a time when Brazil’s economy is expected to contract 6.4 per cent this year, hit by the pandemic. Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus on July 7.
EU summit extended by a day after deadlock over covid recovery plan
European Union on Saturday extended their summit by a day as the countries say that they are finally close to making a deal for the EU budget and the coronavirus recovery fund, an EU official said.
The EU is estimated to contract 8.3% this year due to the pandemic, according to the latest predictions. Around 135,000 of its citizens have died from COVID-19.
Israelis protest against govt’s handling of coronavirus
Israelis gathered around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence on Saturday as protests mounted against his alleged corruption and his handling of the coronavirus crisis in the country.
Hundreds marched on the streets of Jerusalem calling for Netanyahu’s resignation as the country witnessed a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and unemployment. Police used water cannons to disperse the crowds and arrested at least 2 people.
In Tel Aviv, thousands gathered at a rally demanding state aid to businesses hit by the pandemic.