Coronavirus Global Updates: Close to 23 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported so far, with at least 8,00,000 deaths, according to data from the John Hopkins University. Officials believe that the numbers could be far higher because of discrepancies in testing and reporting.
In the United States, which has the highest number of confirmed cases, health officials believe there may be 10 times more cases than the confirmed 5.6 million. The US leads the world in deaths, with more than 1,75,000 being reported till date.
Meanwhile, schools have begun to reopen in the US, with virus outbreaks triggering shutdowns, quarantines and anxiety among parents.
Schools across the United States are also facing shortages and long delays, of up to several months, in getting this year’s most crucial back-to-school supplies: laptops and other equipment needed for online learning, the Associated Press reported.
As the school year begins virtually in many places because of coronavirus, educators nationwide worry that computer shortfalls will compound the inequities and headaches for students, teachers and families.
School districts are pleading with the Trump administration to resolve the issue, saying that distance learning without laptops will amount to no learning for some of the country’s most vulnerable students. There are no nationwide tallies on the number of laptops and other devices that schools are waiting for but the shortages and backorders are affecting school districts in more than 15 states.
Here are the latest updates:
Vacationers, migrants drive Italy’s surge in COVID cases
Sicily’s governor has ordered all migrant residences on the Italian island to be shut down by Monday, part of a push-back by Italian regions alarmed by a surge in COVID-19 cases a few weeks before schools are to reopen.
But while some new migrants have tested positive, vacationers returning from Mediterranean Sea resorts abroad as well from the Italian island of Sardinia lately have accounted for far more of Italy’s new coronavirus infections. On Saturday, Italy registered 1,071 new cases, the highest daily number since mid-May and only weeks after the nation had seen the number of day-to-day new infections plunge to about 200.
The Lazio region, which includes Rome, surpassed hard-hit Lombardy on Saturday for the highest daily new caseload, as returning travelers got tested at Rome-area airports and a port north of the Italian capital.
On the mainland, most of the latest cases were linked to travelers coming from abroad. Those arriving from Spain, Malta, Greece and Croatia must be tested within 48 hours of entering Italy, after those places started experiencing worrisome upticks in coronavirus infections.
13 die in Peru disco stampede after police lockdown raid
Thirteen people died in a stampede at a disco in Peru after a police raid to enforce the country’s lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Sunday. The stampede happened at the Thomas disco in Lima, where about 120 people had gathered for a party on Saturday night, the Interior Ministry said.
People tried to escape through a door, trampling one another and becoming trapped in the confined space, according to authorities.
UK confirms fines up to 10,000 pounds for illegal parties
The UK government on Sunday confirmed plans to impose tougher fines of up to 10,000 pounds on illegal gatherings, parties and raves of more than 30 people as part of stricter measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Police in England will have the power to enforce these measures starting next Friday, with the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to set their own enforcement rules.
Besides, fines of 100 pounds will continue to be issued to those who participate in such illegal gatherings and those who have already received a fine will see the amount doubled on each offence, up to a maximum of 3,200 pounds.
“These gatherings are dangerous and those who organise them show a blatant disregard for the safety of others,” said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.
“I am pleased the police have already stepped up their response and I am giving them the tools they need to continue to keep us safe. We will continue to crack down on the small minority who think they are above the law,” the minister said.
UK govt advisers say missing school is greater risk to kids than Covid
The chief medical officers of the United Kingdom have said children should return to school after summer holidays warning that missing our on their education posed much bigger risks to them than catching Covid-19. The rare joint statement from the top health advisers to the government represents a boost for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has said getting children back to school is a national priority.
New cluster at Singapore’s biggest dormitory housing foreign workers, including Indians
A new COVID-19 cluster has been reported in Singapore’s biggest dormitory housing foreign workers, including Indian nationals, about a month after it was declared to be fully cleared of the coronavirus. Two of the new COVID-19 cases reported in Singapore on Saturday were linked to 55 previous cases to form a new cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge dormitory at 500 Old Choa Chu Kang Road, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said.
The cluster at Sungei Tengah Lodge was among the largest in Singapore before the dormitory was declared cleared of COVID-19 by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Jul 21, the Channel News Asia reported.
More than 2,200 confirmed cases had been linked to the cluster and the Health ministry closed the cluster on Jul 18. Sungei Tengah Lodge is Singapore’s biggest purpose-built dormitory, with about 16,000 workers living there, the daily said.
Indonesia COVID-19 death toll nears 6,700
Indonesia reported 2,037 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, pushing the total tally to 153,535, data from the country’s COVID-19 taskforce showed, Reuters reported. The country recorded 86 deaths, taking the overall death toll to 6,680, the highest in Southeast Asia.
Over 1,000 new cases recorded in Italy
Vacationers returning to the Italian mainland from Sardinia helped push Italy’s daily new coronavirus caseload past 1,000 on Saturday, reaching the high for the first time since early May, the Associated Press reported.
Confirmed cases increased from 947 on Friday to 1,071 on Saturday, with many infections in travelers who were tested as they disembarked from airplanes or ferries.
Authorities in Lazio, the south-central region including Rome, said 45 per cent of its 215 new cases on Saturday were linked to discos or private parties on the Emerald Coast resort area.
Italy has over 2,58,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with at lest 35,400 deaths.
Pakistan COVID-19 tally nears 3 lakh
Pakistan’s coronavirus cases on Sunday reached 2,92,765 after 591 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, PTI quoted the health ministry as saying.
Four patients died in the last 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities to 6,235, according to the Ministry of National Health Services.
As many as 2,75,836 people have recovered while 696 patients are critical. The total number of active cases in the country is 10,694.
South Korea reports 397 new cases
South Korea reported 397 new cases to its coronavirus caseload in a 10th day of triple-digit increases, as the speed of the viral spread nears the levels last seen during the worst of the outbreak in spring, the Associated Press reported.
The resurgence, which began in the densely populated capital area before spreading to every major city and provincial town over the past week, is a major setback for the country that had been eager to tout its hard-won gains against the virus.
Sunday’s jump in infections marked the third consecutive day they’ve crossed 300 cases. Most of the new cases came from Seoul area, home to half the country’s 51 million population where health workers have struggled to trace contacts tied to schools, colleges, restaurants and work.
Australia battles with second wave of infections
Australia reported 17 more deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, but infections in the hard-hit state of of Victoria, the site of all the latest deaths, are showing a downward trend, Reuters quoted authorities as saying.
Other than Victoria, which accounts for over 80 per cent Australia’s COVID-19 deaths due to a second wave of infections, the country has largely avoided the high casualty numbers of many nations, with around 24,502 cases and 502 deaths.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the state, which is almost halfway through a six-week lockdown, had confirmed 208 new cases in the last 24 hours, higher than the 182 new cases on Saturday, but still lower than the weekly average. “We’re going to defeat this second wave. And then we’ll be able to begin the process of opening up. Exactly when that is, we can’t give people a definitive date. But … my aim is to round out the year with something – a COVID normal,” he said.
Andrews further said 11 of the 17 deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours were linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities.
German researchers stage crowded concert
A team of researchers in Germany Saturday staged an elaborate experimental indoor concert — complete with 1,500 attendees and a musical act — to study how to limit the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus at big events. The study comes just as bars and restaurants begin reopening in Europe amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
At the concert, organised by researchers from the German University of Halle, each volunteer was equipped with a face mask, a contact tracer, and a fluorescent hand gel, CNN reported. While they enjoyed a performance by German singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko, the researchers were collecting data on how the virus could potentially spread among the volunteers— all of whom had tested negative for Covid-19.
The aim of the experiment was to gain insights into how events can be safely and effectively conducted during the pandemic, so that authorities can be better prepared, Professor Michael Gekle, the dean of the university’s medical faculty, told CNN.
Germany, meanwhile, reported a four-month high of over 2,000 new cases on Saturday. Schools reopened two weeks ago, and at least 41 schools this week reported students or teachers were infected.
The country was applauded for its quick and efficient effort to initially slow the spread of the virus, which peaked at more than 6,000 daily cases near the end of March and early April. But figures have been rising in the past few weeks.
Over 2,32,000 confirmed cases and 9,200 deaths reported in the country so far.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told allies that “failure to reopen schools is not an option”, Reuters reported the Sunday Telegraph as saying. Johnson had earlier this month said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative, insisting schools would be able to operate safely despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sunday Times reported that Johnson had ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools reopen on time.