Updated: August 14, 2020 10:43:44 pm
Coronavirus Global Updates: The global number of novel coronavirus cases stood at 20,778,947 on Friday, with the death toll rising to 753,283, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The United States reported the highest number of cases, with more than 5 million infections (5,248,678). The US is followed by Brazil (3,164,785 cases) and India (2,396,637).
The US has also reported the highest number of deaths (167,097) due to the infection. It is followed by Brazil (104,201) and Mexico (55,293). Globally, nearly 13 million people (12,935,209) have recovered from COVID-19, the most from Brazil (2,520,182).
Here are the latest developments around the world:
Spain closes discos, bans smoking in the street in new measures against coronavirus
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa has announced a range of new nationwide restrictions to help fight a surge in coronavirus cases, Illa said after an emergency meeting Friday with leaders of Spains autonomous regions that authorities are shutting all discos and night clubs across Spain.
Visits to nursing homes are limited to one person a day for each resident for only one hour People are prohibited from smoking in public areas if they are unable to keep at least 2 meters 65 feet away from others
Police will begin cracking down harder on banned nighttime street gatherings by young people to drink alcohol New daily cases in Spain have been steadily climbing since the country on June 21 ended a more than threemonth lockdown
Authorities have officially recorded almost 50000 cases in the past 14 days an average of about 3500 new cases a day
New on-the-spot fines as UK further eases COVID-19 lockdown
New on-the-spot fines for hosting or facilitating illegal gatherings and parties of more than 30 people are set to come in as the UK government announced a new phase of easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from Saturday.
Fines for repeatedly not wearing face coverings in mandated areas such as public transport and shops will also be significantly increased, in many cases doubled, in the coming weeks as a number of remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new phase of reopening will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed. “However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus,” said Johnson.
Fines will double to a maximum of 3,200 pounds for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules and new fines, yet to be set, will be introduced for people “hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings” of more than 30 people.
New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown as virus cluster grows
New Zealand’s government on Friday extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland for another 12 days as it tries to stamp out its first domestic coronavirus outbreak in more than three months.
The outbreak has grown to 30 people and extended beyond Auckland for the first time. Until the cluster was discovered Tuesday, New Zealand had gone 102 days without infections spreading in the community. The only known cases were travelers quarantined after arriving from abroad. Health authorities believe the virus must have been reintroduced from overseas, but genome testing hasn’t found a link with any of the quarantined travelers. That has prompted authorities to investigate whether shipping workers were a source, after several employees at a food storage facility were infected.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said extending the Auckland lockdown, which began Wednesday, would give authorities time to get a handle on the virus cluster and isolate those infected.
France, Netherlands added to UK’s 14-day quarantine list
Hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers on Friday faced the prospect of having to go into self-isolation for 14 days when they return home after the British government reimposed quarantine restrictions on France following a recent pick-up in coronavirus infections.
In an announcement late Thursday, the government said France is being removed from the list of nations exempted from quarantine requirements because of rising coronavirus infections, which have surged by 66 per cent in the past week.
The Netherlands, Malta, Monaco and the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Turks & Caicos are also being added to the quarantine list. The requirement to spend 14 days in self-isolation will apply to anyone returning to the U.K. after 4 a.m. local time on Saturday, a timeframe that may prompt many – particularly those who cannot work from home – to try to return before then.
Pak reports 626 new cases, 14 more fatalities
Pakistan’s coronavirus tally reached 287,300 on Friday with the detection of 626 new cases in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said. Fourteen more fatalities were recorded overnight, pushing the death toll to 6,153, it said. While 265,215 patients have recovered so far, there are currently 15,962 active cases, including 774 in critical condition. With the detection of the 626 new cases, Pakistan’s coronavirus tally now stands at 287,300, the ministry said.
Malaysian economy shrinks 17% in worst contraction on record
Malaysia has reported its economy contracted 17% in the last quarter in its worst downturn since the global financial crisis. The central bank said the real rate of annual growth was 16.5% in the April-June quarter, down from a 2% contraction in the first quarter of the year. Business shutdowns, travel restrictions and other measures to help contain outbreaks of the new coronavirus took a heavy toll. The central bank said, however, that key indicators such as exports, industrial output and consumer spending began to bounce back in May as pandemic-related restrictions were eased.
New low-cost test can diagnose COVID-19 in just 20 minutes
Scientists have developed a new low-cost nasal swab test which can accurately diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 in just 20 minutes. The findings, published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, show the test called N1-STOP-LAMP, is 100 per cent accurate in diagnosing samples containing SARS-CoV-2 at high loads. The rapid molecular test is highly accurate and easy to use, making it a prime candidate for use in settings with limited testing capabilities, according to the researchers. The method involves using a small portable machine, which can reliably detect SARS-CoV-2 from just one nasal swab, they said.
Man in 20s is Australia’s youngest virus death
A man in his 20s has become the youngest person to die of the coronavirus in Australia. He was among 14 new deaths and 372 new infections reported by Victoria state health officials Friday in an outbreak centered in Melbourne, the second-largest city. And Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 188 elderly people had died over the past week as the virus ripped through aged-care homes in Melbourne. Officials say about 70% of Australia’s 375 virus deaths have been at aged-care facilities.
Governor of Venezuela’s capital district dies of COVID-19
Dario Vivas, the Governor of Venezuela’s Caracas capital district and strong ally of President Nicolas Maduro, died on Thursday of COVID-19 at the age of 70. Vivas, a senior member of the ruling socialist party, had posted on Twitter on July 19 that he had tested positive for the disease and was going into self-isolation.
“He died in combat … taking care of his health and all of us in this difficult battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez said. Vivas is the first top-level Venezuelan government official to die of the virus, though several have tested positive.
Mexico, which hosts over half a million coronavirus cases and 55,000 deaths, will help produce a vaccine that could be distributed in the region next year, authorities said Thursday. The government said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. In partnership with the Mexican and Argentine governments, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca Plc said it plans to initially produce 150 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine in early 2021 and eventually make at least 400 million for distribution throughout the region.
Germany’s confirmed cases rise by 1,449
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,449 to 221,413, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 14 to 9,225.
New Zealand reports 12 new confirmed cases
New Zealand Friday reported 12 new cases of coronavirus, as the country awaited an announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on whether a lockdown in its biggest city, Auckland, will be eased or extended. Auckland, home to 1.7 million people, was put under lockdown on Wednesday, hours after four new cases were discovered.
Thirty-eight people linked to the virus cluster have already been moved into quarantine facilities, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a media briefing in Wellington. The country reported 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 a day earlier.
North Korea lifts lockdown in border town
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lifted a three-week lockdown in the city of Kaesong and nearby areas, after a man who defected to the South returned to the border town last month showing coronavirus symptoms, state media said on Friday. Kim made the decision at a politburo meeting convened to discuss the government’s efforts to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, as well as the response to heavy rain and flooding, state news agency KCNA reported.
North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but Kim said last month that the virus “could be said to have entered” the country and imposed the lockdown after the man was reported to have symptoms. Later, test results of the man were “inconclusive”, according to the World Health Organisation.
Peru surpasses 500,000 cases
Peru surpassed half a million coronavirus cases and has the highest death toll in Latin America. There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice health minister Luis Suarez said at a news conference. The Andean country has the highest coronavirus death rate in Latin America at 78.6 per 100,000 people, a Reuters tally showed, surpassing hard-hit regional neighbors Chile and Brazil.
President Martin Vizcarra, speaking at a public event Thursday to pay tribute to 120 doctors who have died from COVID-19, blamed the recent spike in infections on an uptick in social and sporting events and a lax attitude by the public.
UK imposes 14-day quarantine on arrivals from France
The United Kingdom will impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France on Saturday because COVID-19 infection rates there are too high, transport minister Grant Shapps said on Thursday. The government, wary of a second wave of the novel coronavirus, also added the Netherlands, Malta, and three other countries to its quarantine list. Spain and Belgium have already been added in recent weeks. The French Foreign Ministry gave no immediate reaction.
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