Coronavirus Global Updates: More than 27.34 million people have tested positive with the coronavirus and the virus has induced over 8.91 lakh fatalities, according to a Reuters tally. At least 18,325,062 people have recovered from the disease till now.
United States continues to top the charts with over 6.3 million infections and over 1.89 lakh fatalities. India, however, surpassed Brazil’s cases to take the second spot after the US with a caseload of over 4.28 million as compared to over 4.14 million cases in Brazil.
Meanwhile, after it faced continuous backlash over being “irresponsible” in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the initial months of outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday said that China acted in an “open and transparent” manner in respect to the coronavirus outbreak and said that China’s efforts saved millions of lives globally.
Here are the top global developments of Covid-19
US, European vaccine developers pledge to uphold testing rigour
Nine leading US and European vaccine developers pledged t uphold the scientific standards their experimental immunisations will be held against in the global race to contain the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters. The companies, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and AstraZeneca, issued what they called a “historic pledge” after a rise in concern that safety and efficat standards might slip in the rush to find a vaccine. (Reuters)
Hong Kong to further ease virus measures
Hong Kong is further relaxing social distancing measures, as the territory’s number of new coronavirus cases dwindles. Hong Kong reported another six cases of the virus on Tuesday.
From Friday, the limit on public gatherings will be relaxed to four people, up from two people. Most indoor and outdoor sports facilities, as well as museums will be allowed to re-open. The city has seen its coronavirus cases dwindle after a surge in locally-transmitted infections in July. Hong Kong has reported a total of 4,896 infections since the pandemic began, with 99 deaths.
Hong Kong officials said Tuesday that the city is in talks with 11 countries about setting up travel bubbles, which would allow residents to travel internationally even amid the pandemic.
Ministers, scientists concerned as coronavirus cases rise in UK
Senior ministers in the UK have joined leading scientists to express concern as the number of coronavirus cases reflected a rise in the country over the past few days. UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday that the country was entering a “period of particular concern” after the government’s senior scientific advisers gave stark warnings over the rise in cases.
His remarks came after 2,948 new UK cases were recorded on Monday. “The virus is still very much with us, it’s still concerning,” he told the BBC.
“If we all play our own part then we should be able to maintain our daily lives in this sort of new normal but we’ve got to be very cautious because, as you’ve seen, the number of cases is rising,” he said. His warning comes a day after UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on younger people to continue to be cautious as they would be putting the elderly at risk by transmitting the deadly virus.
13,000 foreign workers in S’pore barred from resuming work for missing testing deadline
Around 13,000 foreign workers in Singapore were not allowed to resume work after they missed the deadline to undergo the mandatory fortnightly COVID-19 testing, officials said on Tuesday. The AccessCode Status for these 13,000 foreign workers will remain “red” and they cannot return to work, said the Ministry of Health.
“This is to protect the health and safety of the other workers,” it added.
The workers missed the September 5 deadline to undergo the fortnightly Rostered Routine Testing (RRT). Once these workers have undergone their RRT, their AccessCode will be restored to “green” and they will be allowed to return to work.
As part of the safeguards to ensure the safe restart of work, workers, many of them from India, staying in dormitories, are required to undergo rostered routine testing every 14 days.
Australia’s Victoria to deepen contact tracing
Australia’s Victoria state, which has been the hotspot for the country’s second wave of coronavirus outbreak, has decided to increase and deepen its contact tracing programme and continue to maintain the downward curve.
Victoria recorded 55 fresh cases in the last 24 hours, up from 41 recorded in the previous day. The outbreak in Victoria now accounts for at least 75% of Australia’s 26,400 cases and 90% of the country’s death toll which currently stands at 770.
State Premier Daniel Andrews reintroduced tough restrictions in Melbourne in early August, including a nightly curfew. These measures were due to end on the weekend, however, they were broadly extended until September 28, although with some small changes that eased some aspects of the restrictions.
China acted “openly and transparently”, says Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday said that China acted in an open and transparent manner in respect to the coronavirus outbreak and said that the concrete efforts taken by the country helped save tens of millions of lives around the globe.
Xi, who was speaking at a ceremony to honour the Covid-19 frontliners and role models in the pandemic, highlighted the fact that China is the first major economy to return to levels of growth post the pandemic is a testimony of the country’s strong abilities and efforts in curbing the disease.
Japan to provide Covid vaccines free of cost
As countries around the world invest in research and development of vaccines, the only possible remedy to overcome Covid-19, the Japanese government Tuesday approved a budget of $6.32 billion or 671.4 billion yen to secure coronavirus vaccines. The money will be taken out from the country’s emergency budget reserves, Japan’s Ministry of Finance said.
The government has said that it hopes to secure enough vaccines for every Japanese citizen by the middle of next year and it aims to provide them free of cost.
Rising UK coronavirus cases of great concern, senior medical officer says
Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases was of great concern and people had “relaxed too much” over the summer. He warned that cases could rise again and that people need to take the guidelines seriously. Tam said: “We have got to start taking this very seriously again”.”If we’re not careful we’re going to have a bumpy ride, people have relaxed too much.”
According to government data published Monday, the United Kingdom recorded 2,948 daily confirmed cases, the second highest 24-hour rise since May. The number of new cases have been rising at about 1,000 a day in most of August. The country has seen over 65,000 fatalities till now.
Greece records 17 Covid-19 cases in camp housing over 12,000 migrants
At least 17 cases of the coronavirus have surfaced in Greece’s overcrowded migrant camp of Moria till Monday, after a 40-year-old asylum seeker tested positive last week. In terms of response, the authorities placed the camp under quarantine and have tested at least 1,600 individuals till now.
The camp hosts more than 12,000 people – which is four times its stated capacity. It already has been reeling under poor sanitation conditions. Volunteer and aid groups have warned that social distancing and basic hygiene measures are impossible to implement in the camp due to the conditions.
Greece has recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases and has recorded 11,524 cases and 284 deaths till now.
Brazil records over 10k new cases, 310 deaths
As the speed of coronavirus relatively slows down in now the world’s third worst affected country, Brazil reported 10,273 new coronavirus cases along with 310 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Monday. Officials signal a decline in growth of the disease since the past few weeks, however this comes with caution as cases could rise again.
Brazil has registered 4.15 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 126,960.