Coronavirus Global Updates: More than 15.87 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 639,354 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Over the past week, nearly 40 countries have witnessed a record single-day spike in fresh coronavirus infections which is double the number from the previous week. Apart from the countries like the US and Brazil that have larger caseloads, Australia, Hong Kong, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Israel among others saw their highest spike in cases.
North Korea has reported a suspected covid-19 case in its border town, following which Kim Jong Un decided to impose a lockdown and declare emergency in Kaesong city. If confirmed this would be N. Korea’s first official coronavirus case.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Texas apart from witnessing a surge in infections is being hit hard by Hurricane Hanna that has made landfall twice and is threatening to bring possible tornadoes. Similarly Hawai is gearing up for a hurricane as coronavirus numbers escalate in the country.
Nepal reports 130 new cases
Nepal registered 130 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 18,613, the health ministry said on Sunday. The Himalayan nation’s coronavirus death toll stands at 45. The new infections were confirmed after examining 3,300 specimens through Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the last 24 hours, said Dr Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for the ministry.
Austria resort town grapples with virus outbreak
A popular resort town in Austria has ordered restaurants and clubs to close early and urged people to avoid going out as it grapples with a new outbreak of the coronavirus. The dpa news agency reported Sunday that hundreds of people have already been tested in the town of St. Wolfgang, east of Salzburg, after the outbreak was first detected Friday. At least 44 of those have tested positive, at least 26 whom are interns working in the tourism industry, Austria’s Kurier newspaper reported.
Spain’s coronavirus epidemic is under control, says govt
Spain’s coronavirus epidemic is under control, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, after the British government imposed a 14-day quarantine on all travellers returning from the Mediterranean country in response to a surge in new cases there.Hospitals are coping well with the increase in infections and more than half of new cases are asymptomatic, the ministry said, adding that outbreaks in Catalonia and Aragon should soon be brought under control.
Sri Lanka to conduct advance polling for people under quarantine
Sri Lanka’s has set July 31 as the date for advance voting for persons under quarantine, National Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said on Sunday ahead of the August 5 vote. Over 16 million voters are registered to vote on August 5 to elect a 225-member parliament for a 5-year term. The election commission has been struggling to make arrangements for a free and fair poll due to the health risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic has forced the election authorities to set an advance polling day for those under quarantine,” Deshapriya said. “Now those under quarantine would be allowed to vote on July 31,” he said. Deshapriya said the identities of the voters under home quarantine would not be revealed to the media. This will be the first-ever election in Sri Lanka to have an advance polling date other than the postal voting for persons on election duties.
Italian island spared from COVID outbreak
Stranded on a tiny Italian island, a cancer researcher grew increasingly alarmed to hear that one, and then three more visitors had fallen ill with COVID-19. Paola Muti braced for a rapid spread of the coronavirus to the 800 closely-knit islanders, many of whom she knows well.
Her mother was born on Giglio Island and she often stays at the family home with its charming view of the sea through the parlor’s windows. But days passed and none of Giglio’s islanders developed any COVID-19 symptoms even though the conditions seemed favorable for the disease to spread like wildfire.
Giglio lies in pristine waters in a protected regional marine sanctuary, and the islanders voice relief that they live in a natural environment they like to think is good for health.
Greece announces 31 new virus cases
Greek authorities have announced 31 new coronavirus cases in the last day, with eight from arrivals from abroad. There were no reported deaths. Authorities announced visitors from Bulgaria and Romania will need to present a negative test for the virus, taken over the 72 hours preceding their arrival. This measure will go into effect Tuesday. Greece’s health minister Vassilis Kikilias says eventual vaccination against the coronavirus will not be mandatory, but “strongly recommended.” Kikilias says “vulnerable groups” such as the elderly and those with serious underlying diseases, will have priority.
Australia’s Victoria reports its highest daily death toll
Reporting its highest daily toll amid a continuous surge in coronavirus cases, Australia’s Victoria recorded 10 deaths overnight, State Premier Daniel Andrews said. A man in his 40’s became one of the youngest covid fatality in Australia. In terms of cases, the state reported 459 new infections making it the 21st consecutive day of triple digit spike in infections. Victoria processed 42,973 tests on Saturday which was by far and away the biggest testing result that we’ve seen on a single day.
N.Korea declares emergency, lockdown in Kaesong city as first suspected case reported
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency and a lockdown in the border town of Kaesong after a person suspected of being coronavirus positive returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border, state media said Sunday, Reuters reported. If confirmed, this would be North Korea’s first coronavirus case. Kim convened an emergency meet in response to critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country”, the North’s KCNA state news reported.
UK imposes a 2-week quarantine for travellers coming from Spain
The UK has imposed a two-week quarantine for travellers coming from Spain with effect from Saturday midnight. Britain is also advising people not to travel to Spain and has removed the country from the list of safe places to visit following a surge of COVID19 cases.
Britain’s Department for Transport issued a statement late Saturday warning that as of midnight anyone returning from Spain would have to self isolate. “Protecting public health is our absolute priority and we have taken this decision to limit any potential spread to the UK” the government said.
Lebanon reports its highest single-day spike
With 175 new coronavirus cases reported in the last 24 hours, Lebanon has reported its highest single-day spike taking the total caseload to 3,500. Lebanese officials warn of a spike in infections following the easing of restrictions after the country’s only airport opened on July 1. Government officials have urged people to observe social distancing and wear masks.
The government is considering reintroducing restrictions including closing gyms, nightclubs and business. Lebanon currently has 3,582 confirmed cases and 47 deaths.
Mainland China reports 46 new coronavirus cases, including 22 in Xinjiang
As mainland China reported 46 new infections Saturday, up from 34 a day earlier, Xinjaing has 22 out of the new infections, China’s Health Commission said on Sunday. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases. Xinjaing has been reporting new infections consistently since the past week after it experienced a new surge on 18 July.
As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,830 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
France expands free COVID-19 testing as infection rates rise
As coronavirus cases increase following ease in restrictions in France, the French health authorities are making coronavirus tests kits available to its citizens free of charge and without a prescription as they closely monitor the uptick in infections.
PCR nasal swab tests, which detect COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus, will be freely available on demand under government orders published on Saturday.
Israelis continue protests against PM’s handling of pandemic
Thousands in Israel held numerous demonstrations across the country against their prime minister and the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic with the main protest taking place in Jerusalem outside the official residence of Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday. The protests that have been continuously going for the past few weeks triggered by the failure to handle and contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Israel has been reporting an average spike of 2,000 cases daily since the reopening of the economy since May which has been termed by critics as “hasty and erratic”.
Some other important developments
South Korea new cases have fallen back to below 60 a day
Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff says his wife has tested positive, while his results awaits
With escalating coronavirus numbers, Hawaii is gearing up for a hurricane
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