- Global coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million people have died from the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
- Pakistan’s COVID-19 cases have passed the 200,000 mark after 3,602 new infections were reported on Sunday.
- The US health secretary Alex Azar has warned the “window is closing” for decisive action to curb the virus as cases there surge.
- The Australian state of Victoria has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours – the highest daily count in two months. Its top health official says the number is “absolutely concerning”.
Source: Al Jazeera Al Jazeera
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, June 29
15:45 GMT – WHO: ‘This is not even close to being over’
The pandemic is not even close to being over, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing.
“We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up,” Tedros said.
The global body was planning to convene a meeting this week to assess progress in research towards fighting the disease.
15:30 GMT – Thousands of foreign workers stranded in Chile
In Chile, thousands of foreign fruit pickers are stranded because their savings have gone and borders remain closed.
Many are from Bolivia, which does not have full diplomatic ties because of a long-running territorial dispute with its neighbour.
COVID-19: Thousands of foreign workers stranded in Chile
14:56 GMT – ‘A recipe for disaster’: Anthony Fauci
In an interview with CNN, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci admonished Americans failing to comply with security measures calling it a “recipe for disaster”.
“There are crowds. They are not physical distancing, and they’re not wearing masks. That’s a recipe for disaster,” said Fauci.
“Now we’re seeing the consequences of community spread, which is even more difficult to contain than spread in a well-known physical location like a prison or nursing home or meatpacking place”.
The US reported more than 2.5 million cases and more than 125,000 deaths, the highest toll in the world.
14:23 GMT – Kazakhstan heads for second lockdown
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev gave his cabinet two days to prepare a package of coronavirus restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus.
“In foreign observers’ opinion, the situation in Kazakhstan is critical, on the brink of spiralling out of control,” Tokayev said, rebuking senior officials for reopening the country in a disorganized way and allowing the novel virus to resurge.
Tokayev ordered officials to boost the number of available hospital beds by 50 percent within a month, deploy mobile laboratories to make tests more widely available and prepare for a long-term pandemic.
Since the country started lifting a nationwide lockdown in mid-May, the number of infections has skyrocketed to almost 38,000 from about 5,000.
14:05 GMT – Germany extends lockdown in one district
Germany will extend by one week restricting measures enforced around one of the two districts that were put under lockdown on June 23.
Some 600,000 people were forced into quarantine after more than 1,500 workers at a meat processing plant in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) tested positive.
Bars, museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms and swimming pools will remain shut down in Guetersloh even though the outbreak was under control, said NRW’s premier Armin Laschet.
A lockdown in the neighbouring district of Warendorf will be lifted on Tuesday because the number of positive tests there was lower than in Guetersloh.
13:37 GMT – Gilead prices drug remdesivir at $2,340 per patient
Gilead Sciences Inc has priced its COVID-19 drug candidate remdesivir at $2,340 for a five-day treatment in the US and some other developed countries.
The price tag is below the $5,080 per course recommendation by US drug pricing research group, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), last week.
But it is more in line with a lower range suggested by ICER of around $2,520 to $2,800, if cheap steroid dexamethasone, which is not patent protected, is cleared for use.
While remdesivir is at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, dexamethasone has been hailed as a potential breakthrough treatment.
Hi, this is Virginia Pietromarchi in Doha, Qatar taking over the live blog from my colleague Hamza Mohamed.
12:55 GMT – 36 US states see rise in coronavirus cases
12:25 GMT – Mourning in the time of COVID-19
Adrian Brown has been covering the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong since it started. But the story really hit home when his father died in the United Kingdom and Adrian was faced with the question: What does it mean to grieve for someone during a pandemic?
In the latest episode of Between Us , Adrian Brown shares his experience mourning his father’s loss from a distance – a reality that so many others have faced in the time of this pandemic.
12:15 GMT – Iran reports record coronavirus single-day death toll
Iran reported 162 deaths from the novel coronavirus, the highest single-day toll since the outbreak began in the country in February.
“This increase in numbers is in fact a reflection of our overall performance, both in terms of reopening and in compliance with health protocols,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said at a news conference.
11:40 GMT – Kenya loses $751m in tourism revenue due to coronavirus
Kenya has lost 80 billion shillings ($751.88m) so far in revenue from its tourism sector, about half of last year’s total, due to the coronavirus crisis, its tourism minister said on Monday.
Tourism is Kenya’s second-largest foreign exchange earner after Diaspora remittances, grossing over 164 billion shillings in 2019 (about $1.54bn), drawing in 2.05 million visitors.
11:15 GMT – Qatar reports 693 new cases, three deaths
Qatar recorded 693 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the health ministry said, taking the total number of infections to 95,106. More than 80,000 of the infected have recovered from the virus.
At least three people died from the virus, the ministry added, taking the death toll to 113.
10:30 GMT – UAE government employees to return to workplaces on July 5
Employees of the United Arab Emirates federal government will return to their workplaces from July 5, while implementing social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the UAE official news agency WAM said on Monday.
Only employees suffering chronic disease are exempted from the decision to return to on-site working, it added on Twitter, citing the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources.
09:25 GMT – Indonesia reports more than 1,082 cases, 51 deaths
Indonesia reported 1,082 new coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the total number of infections to 55,092, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.
The Southeast Asian nation also recorded another 51 deaths, taking the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 2,805, the highest in East Asia outside China.
08:55 GMT – In Pictures: Coronavirus cases hit a new high in India
India has reported a new daily record of nearly 20,000 new infections as several Indian states reimpose partial or full lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
India’s health ministry recorded 548,318 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, a jump of nearly 100,000 cases in a week in the world’s fourth worst-hit country after the United States, Brazil and Russia.
The South Asian country’s death toll has reached 16,475, while 321,723 patients have recovered from the disease.
More photos here:
08:25 GMT – PM Johnson says coronavirus has been ‘a disaster’ for the UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the coronavirus crisis had been a disaster for the United Kingdom but that it was not the right time for an inquiry into missteps.
“This has been a disaster,” Johnson told Times Radio. “Let’s not mince our words, I mean this has been an absolute nightmare for the country and the country has gone through a profound shock.”
He said, though, that this was not the right time for an inquiry in the handling of the crisis.
07:55 GMT – Russia reports lowest coronavirus infections in two months
Russia on Monday reported 6,719 new cases of the novel coronavirus, the lowest one-day reported increase since April 29, pushing its nationwide tally to 641,156.
The national coronavirus taskforce said 93 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,166.
Only the US and Brazil have reported more cases than Russia.
07:30 GMT – Spain: EU to prepare list of coronavirus-safe countries by Tuesday
The European Union will have a list of coronavirus-safe countries for travel purposes ready by Tuesday at the latest, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said.
Officials are preparing a list of 15 countries that are safe for open borders based on epidemiological criteria, she told local radio Cadena SER, as the coronavirus pandemic wanes on most of the continent.
07:05 GMT – Labour leader: PM Johnson ‘asleep at the wheel’
British opposition Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Monday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been asleep at the wheel during the coronavirus crisis and had been far too slow to make major decisions.
“I think the prime minister has been asleep at the wheel, he has been slow, the comms, the communications has been terrible,” Starmer told ITV. “It began to break down frankly when Dominic Cummings put forward a ridiculous defence of what he had done in the North East.”
“They haven’t done the groundwork on test, trace and isolate,” Starmer said.
06:45 GMT – EU’s recovery fund must include substantial grants: IMF
A substantial part of the European Union’s package of measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic must consist of grants rather than loans, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist told Der Spiegel.
“Otherwise it will not promote economic recovery,” Gita Gopinath was quoted as saying by the German magazine on Monday.
EU leaders agreed in April to build an emergency fund to help the 27-nation bloc rebound from the pandemic but the final details have yet to be agreed.
06:30 GMT – Czech Republic records highest daily cases since April 3
The daily number of new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 305, the highest since April 3, health ministry data showed on Monday.
That is the fourth straight daily rise and brings the total number of cases to 11,603. There have been 348 deaths in the country of 10.7 million.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Sunday that the bulk of the new cases have been in a mining region in the east of the country.
06:00 GMT – Pakistan coronavirus cases pass the 206,000 mark
In Pakistan, coronavirus cases crossed 206,512 mark on Sunday with 3,602 new infections reported.
At least 49 deaths were reported taking the overall toll to 4,245.
On Sunday, 23,009 tests were carried out, far below the WHO-recommended levels of 50,000 per day.
05:50 GMT –
Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha, Qatar taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
05:30 GMT – Qatar to further ease coronavirus curbs
Qatar is to further ease coronavirus curbs from July 1, allowing the limited reopening of restaurants, beaches and parks.
The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management says public and private gatherings involving a maximum of five people would be allowed, and offices would be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
The next phase of reopening – including flights from low-risk countries – is scheduled for August 1.
05:15 GMT – Thailand records 35th day without community transmission
Thailand has reported its 35th day without community transmission.
The Southeast Asian nation added seven new cases on Monday, all of them in Thais returning from overseas – on this occasion from India and the US.
02:45 GMT – School building boom for post-COVID UK
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out plans for a 10-year rebuilding programme for schools in England, a December election promise derailed by the coronavirus.
“As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson’s Conservatives were returned to power with a large majority in December, taking many seats that traditionally vote Labour, but its handling of the pandemic has eaten into its support.
UK schools have suffered badly under the severe spending cuts introduced after the financial crisis in 2009. More on the spending plans here.
02:30 GMT – ‘Absolutely concerning’: Spike in cases in Australia’s Victoria state
The state of Victoria in southern Australia has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, something its Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton has described as “absolutely concerning”.
The state has already embarked on a testing blitz, but Sutton says social distancing measures could also be reintroduced in the form of localised lockdowns.
“We have to do whatever is required to turn this around,” he told reporters.
Monday’s daily cases are the highest in two months.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said Victoria’s 75 new COVID-19 cases are “absolutely concerning” and the state’s coronavirus situation would “get worse before it gets better”. Read more: https://t.co/ACsASb1uY7 pic.twitter.com/jiik92KuxX
— The Age (@theage) June 29, 2020
02:00 GMT – China adds 12 new cases, compared with 17 on Sunday
China has reported 12 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, including five imported cases.
The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing.
About a third of the city’s 20 million people have been tested for the virus since an outbreak tracked to the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.
The first two #Foton vehicles to facilitate #COVID19 nucleic acid tests have been put into operation in #Beijing‘s Chaoyang and Xicheng districts. Each vehicle has four sampling points and each point is capable of testing 100 people within one hour. pic.twitter.com/B02hDKSmLs
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 29, 2020
01:45 GMT – Korea reports 42 new cases, concern over clusters
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has just announced 42 new cases of coronavirus – 30 of them local.
That is lower than the numbers reported over the weekend, but Yonhap news agency says South Korean authorities are concerned about continued clusters of infection, particularly in churches.
On Sunday, South Korea announced a three-level social distancing programme. The country is currently at Level 1, the lowest level. It will increase to Level 2 if the number of cases exceeds 50 for 14 days.
00:30 GMT – US accounts for a quarter of deaths as global toll passes half a million
The most recent numbers from Johns Hopkins show the death toll now stands at 501,206 since the first cases emerged in China late last year.
The US accounts for about a quarter of all deaths. Below are the five countries that have recorded the worst death tolls:
- US – 125,768
- Brazil – 57,622
- UK – 43,634
- Italy – 34,738
- France – 29,781
More than 10.1 million people have been diagnosed with the disease.
23:30 GMT (Sunday) – LA bars told to close again after cases surge
Bars in Los Angeles and six other counties in California – together home to about 13.5 million people – have been ordered to close again after a surge in coronavirus cases.
Bars reopened on June 19.
NEW: Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare, while recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, & Ventura.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 28, 2020
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry reporting from Kuala Lumpur.
Read the updates from yesterday (June 28) here.
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