Coronavirus Global Updates: The number of novel coronavirus infections in the world spiked up to 21,613,183 on Monday, with the US reporting the highest number of infections and nearing 5.5 million (5,403,213). The US is followed by Brazil with the second highest infections (3,340,197), and India at the third position (2,647,663).
Meanwhile, the death toll due to the COVID disease rose to 774,288, with the US reporting the highest deaths in the world (170,052), followed by Brazil (107,852), Mexico (56,757), and India (50,921).
Globally, more than 13 million people have recovered from the infection (13,372,643), with the highest number of recovered in Brazil (2,655,017) and followed by India (1,919,842).
Here are the top developments around the world:
South Korea pastor tests positive amid virus spike at church
A conservative South Korean pastor who has been a bitter critic of the country’s President Moon Jae-In has tested positive for the coronavirus, health authorities said Monday, two days after he participated in an anti-government protest in Seoul that drew thousands.
More than 300 virus cases have been linked to the Rev. Jun Kwang-hun’s huge church in northern Seoul, which has emerged as a major cluster of infections amid growing fears of a massive outbreak in the greater capital region.
Lebanon needs two-week lockdown after spike: Health Minister
Lebanon should be locked down for two weeks after a spike in COVID-19 infections, the caretaker government’s health minister was quoted as saying on Monday. “We declare today a state of general alert and we need a brave decision to close (the country) for two weeks,” Hamad Hassan told Voice of Lebanon radio. Lebanon registered a record 439 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Sunday.
COVID-19 tests in India cross 3 crore mark
The total number of tests for detection of COVID-19 has crossed the 3 crore mark in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) data. A total of 3,00,41,400 samples have been tested until August 16 with 7,31,697 samples being tested on Sunday, the ICMR said.
The total number of tests for detection of COVID-19 had crossed the 1 crore mark in India on July 6, while the 2 crore mark was crossed by August 2.
Japan’s economy shrank at annual rate of 27.8% in April-June, the worst contraction on record, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed consumption and trade, according to government data released on Monday. The Cabinet Office reported that Japan’s preliminary seasonally adjusted real gross domestic product, or GDP, the sum of a nation’s goods and services, fell 7.8% quarter on quarter.
The world’s third largest economy was already ailing when the virus outbreak struck late last year. The fallout has since gradually worsened both in COVID-19 cases and social distancing restrictions. The economy shrank 0.6% in the January-March period, and contracted 1.8% in the October-December period last year, meaning that Japan slipped into recession in the first quarter of this year.
South Korea counted its fourth straight day of triple-digit increases in new coronavirus cases on Monday as the government urged people to stay home and curb travel. The government had drawn up a special holiday on Monday with hopes of spurring domestic consumption. But as infections in the capital region increase, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo urged people to stay home and for residents in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi province to avoid visiting other parts of the country for two weeks.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday chose to delay New Zealand’s national elections by four weeks as the country deals with a new coronavirus outbreak in its largest city, Auckland. The election had been scheduled for Sept. 19 but will now be held on Oct. 17. Under New Zealand law, Ardern had the option of delaying the election for up to about two months.
Before the latest outbreak, New Zealand had gone 102 days without any known community transmission of the virus, and life had returned to normal for most people, who were going to restaurants, sports stadiums and schools without fear of getting infected.
Vacationers arriving in Rome get virus tests
Vacationers arriving in Rome from four Mediterranean countries lined up with their suitcases at Leonardo da Vinci airport to be immediately tested for the new coronavirus on Sunday. Last week, Italy’s health minister issued an ordinance requiring the tests for all travellers arriving in Italy from Croatia, Greece, Malta or Spain.
Travellers have the option of being tested instead within 48 hours of arrival at local public health offices closer to their home or destination in Italy.
Australia’s Victoria records highest daily death toll
Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria on Monday reported the deadliest day of the pandemic with 25 fatalities from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 282 new cases. The state recorded 16 deaths and 279 new cases a day earlier. It reported its previous one-day high of 21 deaths last week.
China reports 22 new coronavirus infections, no new Xinjiang cases
China reported no new local coronavirus cases in the western region of Xinjiang on Aug. 16, according to national data, marking the first time the area’s case count was zero since mid-July. It marks a new low number for Xinjiang, which had become a hotbed for the virus as cases surged.
China reported on Monday 22 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for Aug. 16, compared with 19 cases a day earlier, the health authority said. All of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines