Coronavirus Global Updates: As the coronavirus pandemic is set to enter its 10th month, cases around the world surpassed the 25 million mark on Sunday according to a Reuters tally. Till now the virus has caused the deaths of at least 840,000 people while over 16 lakh people have recovered after testing positive.
With this the epicentre of the virus has shifted from the US and Latin America to India, which marked a worldwide record of daily new coronavirus cases on Sunday. India, the third worst-affected nation, has been outpacing both the US and Brazil in new daily cases since August 7. United States continues to top the charts with over 5.9 million cases and 182,761 deaths.
According to the World Health Organisation data, the number of people infected by the coronavirus is now at least 5 times of the severe influenza illnesses recorded annually.
Here are some top global developments
Australia, New Zealand tread cautiously as cases resurface
Australia’s Victoria state recorded a triple digit increase in new coronavirus cases Sunday while New Zealand said again making masks mandatory nationwide as cases appear to be resurfacing.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said curbs in Auckland would be eased from Monday, but would be tightened again if needed. Limits will stay on public gatherings and movement in Auckland, however, with masks made mandatory nationwide from Monday.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews said, “At 100, 94, at 114, whatever the number, we simply could not open up.” Victoria reported 114 new cases, a day after the daily tally fell to 94, its lowest in nearly two months.
S.Korea marks 17th day of triple-digit coronavirus cases
South Korea Sunday reported its 17th day of triple-digit increase in new coronavirus infections even as restrictions at restaurants, pubs and bakeries in the capital Seoul come into effect. Despite this, Saturday recorded the slowest daily rise in 5 days with 299 new infections that brought the country’s total tally to 19,699 along with 323 fatalities.
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said. On Friday, the country extended Phase 2 social distancing rules—the second strictest level—for at least another week.
China records 14th straight day without any local transmission
After reporting 9 new coronavirus cases, all imported on Saturday, China marked 14 days without any local transmission, the National Health Commission said on Sunday. The number of imported cases—found in people traveling into the country from overseas—was the same as a day earlier.
Before this, the longest stretch China had previously gone without recording any local infections was 13 days from May 24 to June 5.Total confirmed cases in China have now reached 85,031, with 4,634 deaths.
Health experts decry Trump’s shunning of virus rules
Public health experts expressed concern Friday about President Donald Trump’s largely mask-free convention event at the White House, saying some of his 1,500 guests may have inadvertently brought and spread the coronavirus to others.
Trump delivered his speech accepting the GOP presidential nomination at the Thursday night event which continued a pattern of flouting coronavirus safety guidelines.
Few in the audience wore masks when virtually all leading public health professionals including the administration’s say face coverings play a big part in slowing virus transmission Chairs were placed inches apart instead of the recommended 6 feet leaving little room to practice social distancing.
Pakistan reports 264 new cases; national tally reaches 295,636
Pakistan reported 264 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the national tally to 2,95,636, the health ministry said.
The number of fatalities in the country reached 6,288 after four patients died in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of National Health Services said. A total of 280,547 people have recovered across the country, while 601 are in critical condition.
There are 8,801 active patients in Pakistan.Sindh has reported 129,268 cases, Punjab 96,741, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 36,017, Islamabad, 15,611, Balochistan 12,842, Gilgit-Baltistan 2,863 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 2,294 cases, it said.
The authorities had conducted a total 2,603,129 COVID-19 tests across the country, including 21,434 in the last 24 hours.
Singapore to offer free tests to taxi drivers, food delivery workers, hawkers
Singapore will offer free coronavirus tests to community groups such as taxi drivers, food delivery workers and hawkers as part of efforts to expand the COVID-19 testing regime, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has said.
While there has been “no local evidence” that these groups are at a higher risk of being infected, they will be offered tests “given the nature of their working environment, such as the high frequency of interactions with the members of the public”, the MOH said.
The costs of the tests will be fully borne by the government, it said on Saturday, adding that authorities will reach out to the groups progressively.
The ministry on Sunday reported 54 new COVID-19 cases. The new cases included eight cases from the community and seven imported. The rest were migrant workers. To date, Singapore has 56,771 confirmed COVID-19 cases. With 110 more patients discharged from hospitals, 55,447 have fully recovered from the infection.
French minister: Not all classrooms can reopen
Not all French classrooms can safely reopen Tuesday, the education minister acknowledged Sunday, amid a persistent rise in coronavirus infections that is threatening the government’s push to get France’s 12.9 million schoolchildren back in class. “It’s being decided by a day-by-day analysis based on the health situation of each territory,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Sunday on France-Info radio. Some classes will remain closed, he said, but ‘as few as possible.’
A collective of doctors published an appeal Saturday saying the governments’ school virus measures aren’t strict enough. It urged mask requirements for children as young as six and a mix of online and in-person schooling.