The coronavirus pandemic has now infected over 19.8 million people and has killed more than 729,000. Here are the latest updates for August 9:
Sunday, August 9, 2020
British PM says opening schools is a moral duty
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government has a moral duty to ensure children return to school next month.
Most pupils have been out of the classroom since the UK went into lockdown in March, though some primary-age children have returned.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said “keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible.”
Britain’s official death toll from the coronavirus is more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.
Case emerges at second mine in Papua New Guinea
The virus has been detected at a second mine in Papua New Guinea, after an employee at the Lihir Mine owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd tested positive for the disease.
The 30-year-old male, who flew in from Port Moresby at the end of July, is among 26 confirmed cases reported on Sunday by the National Pandemic Control Centre in the capital Port Moresby.
The island nation has now reported a total of 214 cases and three deaths.
While the number of cases in PNG are still low compared with many other countries, they have jumped sharply over the past few weeks.
Indonesia virus cases rise by 1,893
Indonesia reported 1,893 more infections, taking the total tally to 125,396, the country’s Covid-19 task force website showed.
The number of death rose 65, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,723.
Infections in Russia top 887,000
Russia reported 5,189 new cases bringing its nationwide tally to 887,536, the fourth largest caseload in the world.
Russia’s coronavirus task force said 77 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing its official death toll to 14,931.
Fire kills virus patients in southern India
A fire killed 11 virus patients at a south Indian hotel being used as a Covid-19 facility in the second such incident this month.
The blaze at Hotel Swarna Palace in the city of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh state broke out at 2330 GMT.
Rescue teams evacuated those trapped in the multistory building, said Senior police officer Srinivasulu, who uses only one name.
At least 22 people were brought to hospitals, he said.
The fire was brought under control but the smoke was still billowing out from the building, he said.
MLS to resume season on August 12 in home cities
America’s Major League Soccer will resume its regular season with clubs playing in their home cities starting from August 12 following the end of the single-site tournament in Florida that was designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
The majority of matches will be played without fans in attendance and the regular season will lead into an expanded 18-team post-season, culminating with the MLS Cup on December 12.
Due to travel restrictions, the league said the initial phase of the 18-game schedule will feature US-based clubs while it works with the three Canadian teams regarding plans to resume.
New Zealand records 100 days without domestic case
New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the virus, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.
New Zealand’s successful fight against the pandemic has made the Pacific island nation of 5 million one of the safest places in the world right now.
New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.
Germany’s cases rise by 555
The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 555 to 215,891, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
The reported death toll rose by one to 9,196, the tally showed.
Indian doctors ask for support as 196 die so far
The Indian Medical Association says 196 doctors have died of the virus so far and, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested adequate care for physicians and their families.
The Health Ministry recorded nearly 64,000 new cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,153,010.
At least 628,747 patients are still undergoing treatment.
India also recorded 861 fatalities, driving the death toll to 43,379.
India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June and has the third-highest caseload in the world after the US and Brazil.
Sources of many cases in Victoria untraceable
The premier of Australia’s Victoria state says more than 2,700 active cases have no known source and remain the primary concern of health authorities.
Victoria saw a welcome drop in its new Covid-19 cases with 394 but a record 17 deaths, including two people in their 50s in the last 24 hours.
It took the hard-hit state’s toll to 210 and the Australian total of deaths to 295.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said confirmed cases also include almost 1,000 health care workers.
Decline in Hong Kong’s cases continues
Hong Kong has seen a further decline in new cases, with just 69 reported as of Sunday.
Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said 67 were locally transmitted and the other two brought from overseas.
No new deaths were reported, leaving the total for the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city at 47 among 3,938 cases.
Hong Kong has instituted strict measures to prevent new infections and the center urged members of the public to avoid going out, having social contact or dining out.
China reports 23 new cases
China has reported 23 new cases in the mainland, the country’s health authority said.
Among the new cases, 15 were locally transmitted and eight were imported infections, the National Health Commission said in a statement published on its website.
The total number of infections in mainland China now stands at 84,619, with the death toll unchanged at 4,634.
Brazil surpasses 10,000 coronavirus deaths
Brazil has surpassed 100,000 deaths and three million cases of infection.
With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 confirmed cases, the South American country of 212 million people is the second hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, after the US.
The health ministry reported 905 new deaths in the past 24 hours, as well as 49,970 new cases.
Mexico’s virus death toll exceeds 52,000
Mexico has reported 6,495 new virus cases and 695 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 475,902 cases and 52,006 deaths.
Officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the US and Brazil.
South Africa virus deaths pass 10,000
More than 10,000 people have died from the virus in South Africa since the pandemic arrived in the country in March.
Africa’s most industrialised economy has registered 553,188 infections, more than half of the continental caseload, and the fifth-biggest number of virus cases in the world.
The country’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update statement that 301 new virus-related deaths had been recorded. More than half of the deaths registered were in in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
North Korea’s Kim sends aid to city locked down over virus
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the distribution of aid to the border city of Kaesong after the area was locked down last month to fight the virus.
Authorities raised the state of emergency to the maximum level for the city in July, saying they had discovered the country’s first suspected virus case.
A train carrying goods arrived in the “totally blocked” city of Kaesong on Friday, the official KCNA news agency reported.
Trump extends economic relief for Americans
US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders deferring payroll taxes for some Americans and extending unemployment benefits after negotiations on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.
Trump accused Democrats of loading up their rescue bill with priorities unrelated to the coronavirus.
Trump said the payroll tax cut would apply to those earning less than $100,000 a year.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies