Coronavirus Global Updates: Over 17.85 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported across the globe, while 6,83,767 people have died due to the disease, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. The United States has the maximum number of cases in the world, followed by Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Victoria state declared a state of disaster on Sunday and imposed a night curfew for its capital Melbourne as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
Here are some global developments on August 2, 2020:
China sends team to Hong Kong to do widespread coronavirus testing
Seven Chinese health officials were due to arrive in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first members of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread testing for COVID-19 in the territory as the global financial hub races to halt a third wave of illness.
China’s National Health Commission on Saturday announced their scheduled arrival. Members of the team are from public hospitals in Guangdong province while a specialist team of six from Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first appeared, will help prepare part of the AsiaWorld Expo convention centre as a facility for COVID-19 patients.
The initiative is the first time mainland health officials have assisted Hong Kong in its battle to control the coronavirus.
South Africa hits 500,000 infections but president hopeful
South Africa has surpassed 500,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, but President Cyril Ramaphosa said Sunday he sees “promising signs” that the rapid growth of cases has stabilized and that the country’s strained health system is managing to cope.
Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize announced 10,107 new cases Saturday night, bringing the country’s cumulative total to 503,290, including 8,153 deaths. South Africa has now tallied more than 50% of all reported coronavirus infections in Africa’s 54 countries.
With a population of about 58 million, South Africa has the fifth-highest number of cases in the world, behind the U.S., Brazil, Russia and India, all countries with significantly higher populations, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic worldwide is much higher than confirmed cases, due to limited testing and other reasons.
Singapore reports 313 new COVID-19 cases
Singapore on Sunday reported 313 new COVID-19 cases, taking the country’s total count to 52,825. The sole community case is a permanent resident (foreigner), said the Ministry of Health (MOH). There were five imported cases, who had been placed on stay-home notices upon arrival in Singapore. There are currently 117 confirmed cases hospitalised while 5,628 are isolated and cared for at community facilities for mild symptoms. In all, 46,740 have fully recovered from the infection, said the MOH.
Philippines coronavirus cases top 100,000
Coronavirus infections in the Philippines surged past 100,000 Sunday after medical groups declared that the country was waging a losing battle against the virus and asked the president to reimpose a lockdown in the capital.
The Department of Health reported a record-high daily tally of 5,032, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 103,185, including more than 2,000 deaths. The Philippines has the second-most cases in Southeast Asia after Indonesia.
President Rodrigo Duterte eased a tough virus lockdown in the capital, Manila, on June 1. After shopping malls and workplaces were partially reopened and limited public transport was allowed, infections spiked sharply with increased virus testing. More than 50,000 infections were reported in less than four weeks and leading hospitals began warning that their coronavirus wards were fast being overwhelmed to capacity again, as they were when cases soared alarmingly in April.
Latin America death toll surges past 2,00,000
The death toll from coronavirus in Latin America surpassed 2,00,000 on Saturday, as per a Reuters tally. Apart from the United States, Brazil and Mexico have reported more fatalities from the virus than any other country. Together, they account for around 70 per cent of the regional death toll.
Brazil reported a daily record of 1,595 coronavirus-related deaths earlier in the week and 1,088 deaths on Saturday. Mexico, meanwhile, reported 784 fatalities on Saturday and recorded over 9,000 new infections for the first time.
Peru reported 191 deaths due to the disease.
Arizona Congressman tests positive for coronavirus
Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva said he has tested positive for coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. The 72-year-old is at least the 11th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the virus, the Associated Press reported.
Florida health officials reported 179 deaths, taking the state’s total to over 7,000. Hospitalisations for coronavirus have been declining for the past week and half, with fewer than 8,000 treated for the virus on Saturday, down from over 9,500 last week.
Victoria imposes curfew, state of disaster to contain Covid-19
Australia’s Victoria declared a state of disaster on Sunday, with the local government implementing a night curfew as part of its harshest restrictions on movement to contain the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reported.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said that the new restrictions will be in place for six weeks until mid-September, and will allow only one person per household to go shopping once a day. People in Melbourne will not be allowed to go beyond 5 km from their homes.
Japan records over 1,500 cases
The Japanese government said all but five of its 1,540 new Covid-19 cases were domestically transmitted, the Associated Press reported. The country had reported close to 1,579 infections on Friday. The spike in Japan’s coronavirus cases, mostly among people in their 20s and 30s, prompted warning that young people were letting their guard down.
The governor of Tokyo, which has about one-third of the new infections, said she might declare an emergency to contain the outbreak.
South Korea records 30 new coronavirus cases
South Korea, meanwhile, reported 30 new cases, only eight of which had been acquired in the country. Authorities say cases from abroad are less threatening because arrivals are quarantined for two weeks.
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