WHO has long maintained COVID-19 is spread via larger respiratory droplets and dismissed possibility of aerosol route.
The United States passed another grim coronavirus milestone as the death toll from the virus climbed past 130,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
India reports more than 23,000 new cases of coronavirus, overtaking Russia to become the country with the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
Here are the latest updates:
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday he had undergone another coronavirus test, after local media reported he had symptoms associated with the COVID-19 respiratory disease, including a fever.
Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just been tested for the virus, adding that an examination had shown his lungs “clean”.
CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease, such as a fever.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus, even as Brazil has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths, according to official data on Monday.
Hospitals are rapidly approaching capacity in Florida and Texas, and the Miami area has closed restaurants again because of the surging coronavirus.
There are concerns too that the Fourth of July holiday weekend of picnics, pool parties and beach outings that health officials fear could fuel the rapidly worsening outbreak.
The United States passed another grim coronavirus milestone as the death toll from the virus climbed past 130,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The country has had 2,888,729 COVID-19 cases and 130,007 deaths as of midday in Washington, DC, the university reported.
The world’s hardest hit country, both in confirmed cases and deaths, the US has experienced a resurgence of the disease since June that has forced several states to suspend their phased economic reopenings.
On Saturday, the number of new daily infections hit a record 57,683.
Read more here
US President Donald Trump said schools must open in the fall, as governors struggle with a steady nationwide increase in coronavirus infections and states reverse and pause attempts to reopen.
“SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” Trump said in a Twitter post.
It was not immediately clear what actions Trump was considering to force schools to open. Schools are largely under the jurisdiction of state and local governments.
The number of deaths in France from the new coronavirus has risen by 27 since Friday to 29,920, the country’s health department said.
The number of people in intensive care units fell by 12 to 548, continuing a downtrend over recent weeks, the ministry said.
The National Hockey League announced nine additional players have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the leaguewide total to 35.
There were eight positive tests among players reporting to team training facilities for voluntary workouts in Phase 2 of the league’s return-to-play plan.
That raises the total to 23 positive results from more than 2,900 tests administered to date.
Another player tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the Phase 2 protocol, bringing that total to 12.
The start of formal training camps for the 24 teams participating in the restart, known as Phase 3, reportedly has been pushed back from July 10 to July 13.
Joao Doria, governor of Brazil’s richest and most populous state Sao Paulo, said that trials of a new potential vaccine against COVID-19, developed by China’s SinoVac, will start on July 20.
The trials, to be done in partnership with the Instituto Butantan, will involve 9,000 volunteers spread across 12 research centres located in Sao Paulo and four other states as well as the federal district Brasília.
Israel reimposed a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, including the immediate closure of bars, gyms and event halls.
In public remarks at a special cabinet session on the health crisis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had to reverse course to avoid a wider lockdown that could paralyse its economy, where unemployment is just above 20 percent.
The Bank of Israel on Monday forecast a 6 percent economic contraction.
A government announcement said that in addition to the immediate shuttering of bars, night clubs, gyms, event halls and cultural events, the number of diners in restaurants would be limited to 20 indoors and 30 outdoors.
The leaders of Spain and Portugal pressed for the European Union to clinch a deal by the end of this month on a recovery fund to help its 27 member countries weather the economic fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s crucial that all EU leaders recognise that the month of July has to be the month we get an agreement,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told a joint news conference with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Lisbon, Portugal.
Southern European countries are mounting a show of strength as negotiations over how much money they get from the EU, and in what form, comes to a crunch.
The EU’s executive commission has drawn up plans for a 750 billion-euro ($849bn) economic recovery fund made up mostly of grants. The plan has met resistance from EU countries dubbed the “Frugal Four” – Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden – that oppose grants and are reluctant to give money away without strings attached.
The Washington Nationals cancelled their scheduled training after not receiving the results from COVID-19 testing.
The World Series champions were tested for the novel coronavirus on Friday but said in a statement 72 hours later they were still waiting for results.
“We cannot have our players and staff work at risk,” Mike Rizzo, Nationals general manager and president of baseball operations, said in a statement. “We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families.”
Shutdown since mid-March by the coronavirus outbreak, MLB has struggled to start the season. MLB and its players’ association agreed in late June to a shortened, 60-game 2020 campaign that would begin either on July 23 or July 24 with no fans in attendance.
The pharmaceutical firm Regeneron announced it was entering the late stages of its human clinical trials investigating a drug to both treat and prevent COVID-19.
The drug, called REGN-COV2, is a combination of two antibodies that block the coronavirus’ “spike protein”, which it uses to invade human cells.
The company is moving to the final phase three of a trial to determine if its drug can prevent infection among people recently exposed to the virus – for example through a person in their household. This trial, run jointly with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is expected to enrol 2,000 patients in the US.
“We are pleased to collaborate with NIAID to study REGN-COV2 in our quest to further prevent the spread of the virus with an antiviral antibody cocktail that could be available much sooner than a vaccine,” said Regeneron President George Yancopoulos.
The Mona Lisa is back in business. Paris’s the Louvre Museum, which houses the world’s most famous portrait, reopened after a four-month coronavirus lockdown and without its usual huge throngs.
The reopening of the world’s most-visited museum was a bright spot in what is otherwise shaping up as a grimly quiet start to the summer tourist season in France.
“It’s very emotional for all the teams that have prepared this reopening,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum director.
COVID-19 could cause an additional half a million AIDS deaths if treatment is disrupted long term, the United Nations said in a warning the pandemic was jeopardising years of progress against HIV.
About 1.7 million people were infected last year, and there are now close to 40 million people living with HIV worldwide. The UN’s annual report said the 2020 target of reducing AIDS-related deaths to fewer than 500,000 and new HIV infections to under 500,000 will now be missed.
“Like the HIV epidemic before it, the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing our world’s fragilities – including persistent economic and social inequalities and woefully inadequate investments in public health,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Millions of people had died in recent decades despite the existence of effective treatments. Although AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 60 percent since the peak of the HIV epidemic in 2004, in 2019 about 690,000 still died from the illness.
Pakistan’s health minister tested positive for COVID-19, the latest senior figure to contract coronavirus.
“I have tested positive for COVID-19. Under [medical] advice I have isolated myself at home & taking all precautions. I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers,” State Minister of Health Zafar Mirza said on Twitter.
Pakistan has so far confirmed more than 229,831 cases with 4,762 deaths, according to government figures. The country has continued to confirm about 4,000 new cases per day, despite daily testing numbers falling.
Residents in Spain‘s northern city of Pamplona dressed up in white clothes and traditional red scarves to mark what should have been the start of their annual San Fermin festival, which was cancelled this year because of coronavirus.
Known for its races with bulls running along cobbled streets, the festival was popularised by Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises and was last called off during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
With more than 28,000 deaths from the novel virus and an economy in the doldrums following a strict nationwide lockdown, local authorities say there is little to celebrate.
Palestinian security forces in the West Bank are stopping cars and passers-by as they enforce a five-day lockdown.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday declared a state of emergency for 30 days in all the Palestinian territories. Residents are ordered to stay inside their homes except to buy food or get medical care.
Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on Palestinians to stop wedding parties that have been blamed for the spike in cases. Palestinian officials have reported more than 4,000 cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank, with 17 deaths.
14:00 GMT – White House rejects national strategy on masks
The White House is again rejecting calls for a national mask-wearing mandate.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in an appearance on Fox and Friends the president sees the issue as a “state-to-state” matter.
“Certainly a national mandate is not in order … We’re allowing our local governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that.”
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has said he would like to see a national strategy on the coronavirus, including a mask requirement. His state is seeing “small spikes in reinfection from residents coming back from Florida, South Carolina and other virus hotspots, and the US is “as strong as our weakest link right now”.
Vice President Mike Pence has also rejected the idea of a national mandate, saying that is up to governors and local health officials.
Stock markets rallied with further signs of economic recovery resonating with investors more than a surge in coronavirus infections worldwide.
The easing of lockdowns is providing hope the global economy will bounce back from an expected recession this year, with England’s pubs reopening at the weekend and tourist attractions around Europe now either open or planning to.
Better-than-forecast data on US jobs creation and factory activity have also provided a boost to confidence, as have hopes for a vaccine, which observers say is key to kickstarting any recovery.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones rose nearly 400 points at the opening, while key European markets were up 1.5 percent or more in the mid-afternoon.
Investors on both sides of the Atlantic took their lead from equities in China, “with the world’s second largest economy seeing a huge uptick” that saw its main stocks index closing up nearly 6 percent, noted Joshua Mahony, senior market analyst at IG trading group.
13:00 GMT – Doctors investigate long-term health problems of COVID-19
The Lancet medical journal has published a study by doctors treating 153 coronavirus patients that describes “a snapshot of brain complications in patients who’ve had severe COVID-19”.
The study reported one-third of patients were experiencing an “altered mental state such as brain inflammation, psychosis, and dementia like symptoms”.
Professor Charlotte Bolton is Respiratory Medicine Professor at the University of Nottingham and a doctor at Nottingham City Hospital. She said she is seeing patients with a wide range of symptoms.
“Some breathlessness, some cough, fatigue, muscle fatigue and limitation on what they can do, activities of daily living … But also some report quite vivid dreams, memory loss of the whole admission, what we call higher executive function.”
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted serious weaknesses in Spain’s social security system and a failure to address the plight of the poorest people, a UN expert said.
“Spain’s social protection net was utterly inadequate before COVID-19, but the pandemic has since exposed just how deeply it is failing people,” Philip Alston, the former United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said in a report on a fact-finding mission.
Alston said millions of Spaniards who were unable to work had to struggle through delays, glitches and other difficulties to access government support during the lockdown.
Israel’s government has reimposed a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, deciding on the immediate closure of bars, nightclubs, gyms and event halls, Israel Radio said.
At a special cabinet session that decided on the measures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had to reverse course in the coronavirus crisis to avoid a wider lockdown.
Vietnam’s health ministry has reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas.
The Southeast Asian country has experienced 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus. It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90 percent of which have recovered.
The number of coronavirus cases in Qatar has exceeded 100,000, adding 546 new cases and five deaths in the past 24 hours.
With a population of about 2.7 million people, the energy-rich Gulf state has one of the world’s highest per capita number of confirmed cases.
Read more here
Results from the final stage of a nationwide antibody study showed some 5.2 percent of Spain’s population has been exposed to the coronavirus, health officials said, confirming findings from earlier stages.
The study, which tested nearly 70,000 people across Spain three times over the past three months, found the virus’s prevalence had not altered significantly since preliminary results were published in May.
Greece and Britain will fully resume flights on July 15, Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas has announced.
“In cooperation with the British government, and following advice of experts, the government announces the resumption of direct flights from the United Kingdom to all airports of the country from July 15,” Petsas told a news briefing.
Indonesia has reported 1,209 new coronavirus infections and 70 new deaths, its health ministry said.
The case total is currently 64,958 and number of fatalities 3,241, said Achmad Yurianto, a ministry official.
Muslim pilgrims at this year’s Hajj must wear face masks at all times, authorities said, while workers will ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage that in normal times brings together more than two million people.
Saudi Arabia’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) released a list of instructions for pilgrims and workers to follow.
A space of one and a half metres between each pilgrim must be observed during prayers or other rituals, at restaurants or inside tents, according to the list published by official news agency SPA.
People will not be allowed to touch the Kaaba, the cube-shaped, black-clad shrine at Mecca’s Grand Mosque. Pilgrims usually walk around the Kaaba several times during the Hajj.
Pilgrims are banned from sharing personal items such as clothes, phones and towels. Buses transporting pilgrims from one holy site to another must be occupied at 50 percent capacity, as each pilgrim will be assigned the same seat throughout the Hajj.
At restaurants, only prepackaged meals will be available as well as single-use bottles filled with water from the holy Zamzam well. Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims from outside the kingdom in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The kingdom has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Arab world, with more than 200,000 infections.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a phased reopening of the country.
“Are we ready to reopen? According to experts and stakeholders we have not yet met the irreducible minimum 100 percent, however after further dialogue amongst them we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across our counties,” Kenyatta said in a televised address.
“Today I order that the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area, Mombasa county and Mandera county – that is currently enforced – shall lapse today or tomorrow at 4am”.
BREAKING: Cessation of movement to lapse at 4AM, Tuesday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta: I order and direct that the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, Mombasa County and Mandera County shall lapse at 4am tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/I7WJSWpGjn
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) July 6, 2020
Kenyatta also announced international flights will resume on August 1.
Read more here.
Passengers on trains, trams, buses, mountain railways and ferries across Switzerland have to wear masks on public transport starting from Monday.
The move came as the number of infections picked up again after the government phased out most restrictive measures last month when cases waned.
With a 74 percent drop in sales compared to the previous year, British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger said it will no longer reopen 30 UK shops.
The food chain also said that it would cut jobs across its remaining outlets as a result of the major hit the pandemic had on customer demand.
India’s hardest-hit state is Maharashtra – home to the country’s financial hub of Mumbai. There the virus has particularly hit densely populated cities such as New Delhi (99,000 cases), Mumbai (84,000 cases) and Chennai (68,000 cases).
Below is a state-wide map of COVID-19 cases in India:
Fiji reported its first coronavirus case in 78 days after a 66-year-old man tested positive upon his return from India.
“We’ve confirmed a border case of #COVID19 among a returning citizen while he was securely in the confines of government-funded quarantine,” said in a tweet Acting Permanent Secretary for Health James Fong, adding this case represents “zero risk to the public”.
We've confirmed a border case of #COVID19 among a returning citizen while he was securely in the confines of government-funded quarantine.
Thanks to our multilayered, RFMF-backed border protections, this case presents zero risk to the public.
No new directives are necessary.
— Frank Bainimarama (@FijiPM) July 6, 2020
Several dozen Paris tour guides protested outside the Louvre museum calling for more support from the government as the pandemic has greatly damaged the tourism sector.
Despite France’s announcement in May of measures worth 18 billion euros ($19bn) to support the sector, tour guides such as Margot Schmitz said these funds were not reaching her category. “The government is turning a deaf ear,” Schmitz told Reuters ahead of the protest. “We have no voice.”
The Louvre – which reopened on Monday for the first time in four months – said it was expecting 7,000 visitors on its first day, but after an initial flurry managers anticipate that numbers will only be a fifth of pre-outbreak levels.
As Egypt tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus, security agencies have tried to silence criticism over the government’s handling of the health crisis.
From a doctor writing an article on the fragility of the country’s health system to a pharmacist posting online about a shortage of medical supplies, at least 16 people have been arrested since February, according to the Associated Press, citing human rights groups.
“Every day I go to work, I sacrifice myself and my whole family,” said a front-line doctor in greater Cairo, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “Then they arrest my colleagues to send us a message. I see no light on the horizon.”
Law professor Xu Zhangrun, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, was detained by authorities, the AFP reported, citing friends of the man.
Zhangrun had previously published essays criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and his efforts to consolidate power.
According to one of his friends who spoke on condition of anonymity, Zhangrun was taken from his home in suburban Beijing by more than 20 police.
India has nearly 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with nearly 70 percent of total cases reported in June alone. This sharp increase has taken India from the seventh most affected country in the world at the end of May to the third highest today. Only Brazil and the US have more confirmed cases, respectively 1.6 million and 2.8 million.
Below is an animated graphic that shows how the coronavirus spread across Indian states since March.
The sky in Seul lit up with hundreds of drones in a spectacular showcase of motivational and awareness messages.
Three hundred unmanned aerial vehicles formed images with messages reminding people of key precautionary measures, expressing gratitude for medical personnel in the frontlines of the pandemic as well as thanking all South Koreans for their collective efforts.
Pakistan registered 3,344 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, taking the overall numbers to 231,818, with 50 deaths taking the death toll to 4,844.
Pakistan’s mortality rate from the coronavirus remains relatively low, at 2.08 percent, and authorities claim they have controlled the rapid spread of the virus through the use of “smart lockdowns”.
Testing is reduced, however, with roughly 22,000 tests carried out on Sunday, compared to a peak of over 31,000 per day.
Britain hopes to permit outdoor and socially distanced performances at cultural venues, said minister Oliver Dowden, after announcing a nearly $2 billion investment in the arts.
“I want all our cultural institutions to return to normal,” the culture minister told Sky News.
“Very soon I hope we will be able to permit outdoor performances and then later over the summer be able to have socially distant performances and have pilots to look at other innovative ways that performances can return.”
Pakistani Health Minister Zafar Mirza said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have isolated myself at home & taking all precautions. I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers. Colleagues, keep up the good work!” he said on Twitter.
<327> I have tested positive for COVID-19. Under med advice I have isolated myself at home & taking all precautions. I have mild symptoms. Please keep me in your kind prayers. Colleagues, keep up the good work! You are making a big difference & I am proud of you.
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) July 6, 2020
Hi, this is Virginia Pietromarchi taking over the live blog from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
India reported more than 23,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, overtaking Russia to become the country with the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.
India has confirmed a total of 697,413 cases, compared with Russia’s 680,283.
The caseload is about eight times that of China which has a similar sized population.
Offiicals in the northern city of Agra say that because of the rise in cases, the Taj Mahal, which was scheduled to reopen on Monday, will remain closed.
Read the full story here.
Broadway star Nick Cordero has died of coronavirus.
The 41-year-old Canadian, who was nominated for a Tony for his role in Bullets over Broadway, had been in hospital for three months and had had his right leg amputated as a result of the disease.
His wife, Amanda Kloots, announced his death on Instagram. The couple had a one-year-old son together.
“God has another angel in heaven now,” she wrote. “I am in disbelief and hurting everywhere. I can’t imagine our lives without him.”
Nick Cordero passed at 11:40am today with his mother and wife by his side. I can honesty tell you I have never met a kinder human being. Don’t believe that Covid only claims the elderly and infirm.
I am so grateful for the time we had. “We’ll catch up some other time.” pic.twitter.com/Oq2a8QsIyH
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) July 6, 2020
RIP Nick Cordero! My condolences to you Amanda who fought and loved so hard….so sorry for his little one. My heart is with you. May flights of angels…..❤❤❤🙏🏿🙏🏿 https://t.co/nRE3AmS0A2
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) July 6, 2020
heartbroken doesn't even cover it. sending so much love to amanda, elvis, and their families. he will be missed by so many. truly desisted 💔 https://t.co/7ptkxwLP9m
— Jessie Mueller News (@jessiemnews) July 6, 2020
Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopex Obrador refused to compare Mexico with European countries on Sunday as the country’s coronavirus death toll mounted.
Mexico now has 30,639 deaths, the fifth highest in the world, overtaking France.
“The population of Spain and France is smaller than that of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said in a video message posted to YouTube. “For every one who has died in our country, three have died in Spain. We cannot compare this.”
Mexico has a population of 127 million, compared with 67 million in France and 47 million in Spain.
The five countries with the highest death tolls:
After four months of closure, the Louvre in the heart of Paris is due to reopen at 9am local time (07:00 GMT).
All visitors are required to book a time slot and wear a mask inside the buildings, while efforts have been made to avoid overcrowding.
The Salle des Etats where the Mona Lisa is displayed and which is usually jam-packed, will have separate entry and exit points.
J-1 avant la réouverture ! ⏳
La Joconde est prête à vous accueillir de nouveau… 😊
— Musée du Louvre (@MuseeLouvre) July 5, 2020
Translation: One day until we reopen. The Mona Lisa is ready to welcome you once again.
Saudi Arabia has announced new health protocols for this year’s Hajj, which will be open only to domestic pilgrims.
Touching the Kaaba will be banned and a social distancing space of one and a half metres enforced during mass prayers and while circling the Kaaba.
Access to Hajj sites at Mona, Muzadalifah and Arafat will also be limited to those with Hajj permits from July 19 until August 2, according to the state news agency.
Bolivia’s health minister Eidy Roca has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, the third member of the country’s cabinet to be confirmed with the disease in four days.
Roca is in a stable condition and “strictly complying with the safety protocol that inlcudes isolation, medication and care,” according to a statement from her office.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed the state border with New South Wales (NSW) will be closed at midnight on Tuesday in Australia.
Victoria, which has sealed off a number of Melbourne suburbs and imposed a draconian lockdown on nine public housing blocks, said it had 127 new cases of the coronavirus. It now has 645 active cases.
Premier @DanielAndrewsMP confirms From 11.59pm tomorrow night the border with Vic and NSW will be closed. He says “all of us” agreed ( @GladysB @ScottMorrisonMP )
Says the border enforcement will be on NSW side. @10NewsFirstMelb #springst @10NewsFirstSyd pic.twitter.com/CP8hGSviAk
— Simon Love (@SimoLove) July 6, 2020
The Australian state of New South Wales is to close its border with neighbouring Victoria after a surge in locally-transmitted coronavirus cases in Melbourne.
The closure will take effect on Tuesday, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
The ABC understands the Victoria/NSW border will be closed from tomorrow night.
— Joe O'Brien (@JoeABCNews) July 6, 2020
Hospitals in some parts of the United States are in danger of being overwhelmed.
All beds are occupied in parts of Texas – one of the states worst hit by the resurgent virus.
“Our hospitals here in Harris County, Houston and 33 other cities … they’re into surge capacities,” Lina Hidalgo, the county’s chief executive, told ABC television in the US. Her comments were echoed by Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, who said the system could be “overwhelmed” if the outbreak was not brought under control.
Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, has also expressed concern that hospitals could soon reach breaking point.
“If we don’t change our trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun. And in our ICUs, I could be 10 days away from that,” the mayor told CNN.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday here.