Coronavirus Global Updates: On Monday, the global number of Covid cases stood at 19,778,566 and the death toll at 729,692, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The United States has reported the highest number of cases, with the country’s crossing the 5-million mark (5,044,769). The US is followed by Brazil (3,035,422 cases) and India (2,153,010).
The US also has the highest number of deaths (162,919) due to the infection. It is followed by Brazil (101,049) and Mexico (52,298). Globally, more than 12 million people (12,038,878) have recovered from the COVID-19 infection, with more than 2 million in Brazil, the highest ever.
Here are the top global developments:
US mulls outdoor classes amid virus worries
Concerns about school infrastructure are adding momentum to plans in some US districts, even in colder climates, to take classes outdoors for the sake of student and teacher health.
Nationwide, an estimated 41 per cent of school districts need to update or replace their heating, ventilation and cooling systems in at least half their schools, according to a federal report issued in June.
Several schools in the Northeast have bought large event tents like those used at outdoor weddings and plan to use them to teach outside through November, the Associated Press reported.
WHO says COVID seems to lack a seasonal pattern
The emergencies chief for the World Health Organization said that COVID-19 doesn’t seem to follow the seasonal patterns that some viruses exhibit, making it harder to control.
Unlike other respiratory viruses like influenza that spread mainly in the winter, the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in the summer. That’s despite earlier predictions from some scientists and politicians it would fade in the heat.
“This virus has demonstrated no seasonal pattern as such,” said Dr Michael Ryan at a press briefing on Monday. “What it has clearly demonstrated is that if you take the pressure off the virus, the virus bounces back,” he said.
He also said that the UN health agency continues to advise countries even where COVID-19 appears to be under control, such as those in Europe, to maintain measures to slow virus spread.
Britain records more than 1,000 new infections
Britain has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections in a day for the first time since late June. Government statistics say 1,062 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the 24 hours until Sunday. The last time the number was over 1,000 was on June 26. The number of patients hospitalised with the virus continues to decline, as does the daily number of deaths. Eight new COVID-19 fatalities were reported Sunday. Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at 46,574, the highest in Europe.
Italy reports 463 new virus cases
Italy’s tally of daily new COVID-19 cases leaped higher on Sunday, with 463 cases, according to Health Ministry figures. Many of the latest cases have been found in young people returning from vacations abroad. Italy’s day-to-day new caseload had previously soared far above 500 confirmed infections, but the number had dropped to 347 on Saturday.
While in the first weeks of the outbreak in Italy, only one of every 83 infections occurred in persons 18 years old or younger, now one of every eight confirmed cases occurs in that age bracket. With two deaths registered on Sunday, Italy’s known death toll stood at 35,205. Italy’s overall count of known infections in the pandemic stands at 250,566.
US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases
The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease crossed the 5-million mark on Sunday. The hit was by far the highest of any country. New cases in the country are running at about 54,000 a day — an immensely high number even when taking into account the country’s large population. And while that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most.
China reports 49 new cases in mainland
China reported on Monday 49 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for, compared with 23 cases a day earlier, the health authority said.The National Health Commission said in a statement. 35 of the new infections were imported cases. There were no new deaths. China also reported 31 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 11 a day earlier. As of August 9, mainland China had a total of 84,668 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China’s death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged at 4,634.
Israeli jeweler makes USD 1.5m gold mask
An Israeli jewelry company is working on what it says will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask, a gold, diamond-encrusted face covering with a price tag of USD 1.5 million. The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with top-rated N99 filters at the request of the buyer, said designer Isaac Levy. Levy, owner of the Yvel company, said the buyer had two other demands: that it be completed by the end of the year, and that it would be the priciest in the world.
Australia borders to stay shut as daily deaths reach record
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said internal border closures were unlikely to lift before Christmas, as the country on Monday reported a record single-day rise in COVID-19 deaths. There was, however, some evidence that drastic lockdown measures in the city of Melbourne were having an effect, with daily new infections in the state of Victoria slowing to a near two week low. “I am more hopeful of that today than I was in the course of the past week,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as he called on state leaders to cooperate to allow stranded residents to return home.
US health chief offers Taiwan ‘strong’ support in landmark visit
US Health Secretary Alex Azar offered President Donald Trump’s strong support for democratic Taiwan on Monday, telling President Tsai Ing-wen that her government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic had been among the world’s best. Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday as the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades. “It’s a true honour to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan,” Azar told Tsai in the Presidential Office. Taiwan’s early and effective steps to fight the disease have kept its case numbers far lower than those of its neighbours, with 480 infections, including seven deaths.