The announcement follows strong criticism by the US, which accused the UN health agency of being ‘China-centric’.
The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours.
Iraqi lawmaker Ghida Kambash has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, parliament announced, its first member to succumb to the virus as cases resurge across the country.
The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in northwest Syria, aid workers have said.
Here are the latest updates.
Venezuelan oil minister Tareck El Aissami has tested positive for COVID-19, he said on Twitter, a day after the leader of the socialist party, Diosdado Cabello, also tested positive.
“A new battle that I will take on, clinging to God and to life,” wrote El Aissami, who is also the country’s economic vice president.
Venezuela has reported 8,010 cases of the novel coronavirus so far, far fewer than other Latin American neighbours like Brazil, but its cases have risen at a brisker pace in recent weeks.
Coronavirus deaths among Americans ages 65 and younger are more common among non-whites than among whites, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in a publication.
Overall, 34.9 percent of Hispanic patients who died were younger than 65, while 29.5 percent of non-whites who died were under 65 compared with only 13.2 percent of white, non-Hispanic decedents.
Researchers analysed 10,647 COVID-19 deaths between February 12 and April 24 from 16 public health departments in 15 states. Most of the deaths were in New York City, New Jersey and Washington state – three areas hit by the pandemic early on.
President Donald Trump was forced to cancel an election rally, further darkening his mood as he lashed out at China over the coronavirus pandemic while visiting one of the worst-hit US states.
As he jetted into Florida for a campaign fundraiser – ignoring health advice about the dangers of large gatherings – Trump warned of frayed ties with the Asian nation where the virus emerged late last year.
“[The] relationship with China has been severely damaged. They could have stopped the plague … They didn’t stop it,” he told reporters on Air Force One.
Colombia’s capital Bogota, the South American country’s coronavirus epicentre, will raise its health alert level and impose a “strict quarantine”, the city’s mayor said.
From Monday the city “will begin an orange alert with the intensive care system on red alert”, said Mayor Claudia Lopez.
The capital city of eight million people has recorded 42,000 coronavirus cases, amounting to 32 percent of Colombia’s 134,000 infections, and 950 deaths.
Kuwait has advised its citizens and residents against travelling abroad at the moment due to the instability of the coronavirus pandemic, and the spread of the virus despite strict measures applied worldwide, the health ministry announced in a statement on Twitter.
Last month, Kuwait’s communications office said that commercial flights at Kuwait International Airport will resume from August 1, after being suspended in March because of the pandemic.
Florida confirmed its place as an emerging epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States by reporting its second sharpest daily rise in cases, while Walt Disney Co prepared to reopen its flagship theme park in Orlando to the chagrin of some employees.
Florida recorded 11,433 new cases, the state health department said, more evidence that the virus is still spreading largely unchecked throughout parts of the country.
The state experienced the surge after initially avoiding the worst of the outbreak that hit New York and other northeastern US states.
France became the sixth country to report a total coronavirus death toll of more than 30,000, with the number of new confirmed cases above 600 for the third day in a row.
The health ministry said in a statement that 25 people had died from coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, boosting the cumulative total since early March to 30,004.
Friday’s increase compares with an average increase of 15 in the previous seven days. In June, France counted on average 34 new deaths per day, in May 143 and in April 695.
Serbia announced a record coronavirus death toll for a single day, as the government hit back at protests against its handling of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the Balkan state recorded 18 deaths and 386 new cases over 24 hours in what she described as a “dramatic increase”.
At the same time, Brnabic slammed as “irresponsible” protests held for a third straight day in Belgrade and other cities on Thursday, after demonstrations in the capital on the previous two days had spilled over into violence.
The Czech Republic reported 82 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic above 13,000, after a recent uptick in infections caused by local outbreaks.
The country of 10.7 million has reported 352 deaths from COVID-19, far fewer than its Western European neighbours. It was one of the first European countries to impose drastic lockdown measures to fight the pandemic in March, but has lifted many restrictions since May.
Since June 18, it has reported at least 100 new cases a day 14 times, most recently on Thursday when the total was 105. The largest spike came on June 28 when 305 new cases were reported.
The WHO reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours.
The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.
Global coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 555,000 people in seven months.
Lebanon has recorded its highest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, with 71 cases in 24 hours.
It had confirmed a previous record of 66 new infections the day before, some four-and-a-half months after the first case was reported in February.
Firas Abiad, the head of the country’s leading COVID-19 hospital, has warned of a “worrisome” trend that could overwhelm the country’s fragile health sector, which is suffering from funding shortages due to the country’s unprecedented economic crisis.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said stricter rules on wearing face coverings may be needed and that he would like to see them worn more frequently in shops in England, where – unlike in Scotland – they are optional.
“I do think we need to be stricter in insisting that people wear face coverings in confined places where they are meeting people that they don’t normally meet,” Johnson said in a prerecorded question-and-answer session with the public.
“So that’s why it’s mandatory already on public transport, and we’re looking at ways of making sure that people really do observe when you do have face coverings in shops for instance where … there is a risk of transmission,” he added.
Iraqi lawmaker Ghida Kambash has died of COVID-19, parliament announced, its first member to succumb to the new coronavirus as it spreads rapidly across the country.
The 46-year-old was a three-time MP from Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, and helped pass laws on education reform and social welfare.
After seeing a relatively slow spread in the first five months of 2020, cases spiked 600 percent in June alone, according to the International Rescue Committee.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova has proposed that Russia resume international flights to and from the country from July 15, two weeks earlier than the scheduled date of August 1 for resuming international air travel.
Golikova said foreigners travelling to Russia would have to have proof of a negative test for COVID-19, taken in the last three days before their arrival, in order to enter the country.
Russia registered 172,914 deaths in May, up by 18,375 or 11.9 percent from the same month the previous year, data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed.
This included 12,452 deaths of people suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, Rosstat data showed. Of these, COVID-19 was registered as the primary cause of death in 7,444 cases.
The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 44,650, up 48 on the previous day, the government said.
China’s customs authority said it was suspending imports from three shrimp producers in Ecuador after detecting the new coronavirus in recent shipments.
It said samples taken from shipments from Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila SA, Empacreci SA and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima Edpacif had produced six positive results. However, tests on the frozen shrimp and inner packaging were negative.
Finland expressed reservations to a revised budget proposal by European Council President Charles Michel, and the massive COVID-19 recovery fund plan being debated at a special meeting next week.
Michel presented an update to a proposal for a 750-billion-euro ($847bn) pandemic recovery fund on Friday in the hope of winning over more frugal member states.
However, Michel did not cede ground on the main point of contention: whether aid from the recovery fund should take the form of grants or loans.
Hello, this is Arwa Ibrahim in Doha, taking over from my colleague Farah Najjar.
The United Kingdom will set out its position on the European Union coronavirus vaccine scheme later on Friday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding any decision would be based on what is deemed to be in the country’s interests.
The European Commission said that a possible decision by the UK not to join an EU scheme to buy potential COVID-19 vaccines upfront will not affect continuing talks the bloc is carrying out with several drugmakers.
On Thursday, British newspaper The Telegraph reported that the UK government had decided not to join the EU scheme because of concerns there could be costly delays in securing the shots.
“The fact that the UK has apparently said they would not join up to whatever contract we are able to negotiate with producers is definitely not something that is going to influence our own negotiations with the producers,” the EU executive’s leading spokesman told a news conference.
Norway will lift travel restrictions to and from more than 20 European countries from July 15, including France, Germany and the UK, as well as some provinces of neighbouring Sweden, the government said.
Norway, which is not a member of the EU but belongs to the passport-free Schengen travel zone, currently has some of Europe’s strictest limitations on travel due to the pandemic.
An advance team from the World Health Organization has left for China for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman said.
The two WHO experts, specialists in animal science and epidemiology, will work with Chinese scientists to determine the scope and itinerary of the investigation, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a UN briefing.
“They are gone, they are in the air now, they are the advance party to work out the scope,” she said.
The WHO will have no role in an independent panel, announced on Thursday, to review the global handling of pandemic, Harris said, adding: “From now on it is completely hands-off.”
Quarantine measures for those travelling to the UK from about 70 countries and overseas territories, including France and Italy, no longer apply from Friday in a boost to the ailing aviation and travel industries hit by COVID-19.
Those arriving from higher-risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days but many popular destinations are now exempt, meaning millions of Britons are able to take summer holidays without having to stay at home when they return.
The boss of Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, welcomed the move but said more was needed to facilitate travel from other low-risk countries and areas.
“There are some important long-haul markets that aren’t included, places like Canada and Singapore, which are low-risk, and we’d like to see those being included in the next review,” John Holland-Kaye told Sky News.
Hong Kong reported 38 new cases, edging down from Thursday’s 42 but broadly in line with a sharp increase that the city has registered over the past three days.
Amid concerns of a renewed community spread it had reported mostly imported cases for months, authorities said 32 of the new cases were locally transmitted, little changed from Thursday’s 34.
The total number of cases in the global financial hub since late January stands at 1,404, of whom seven have died.
The premier of South Africa’s financial hub and most populous province Gauteng, David Makhura, said he has tested positive for COVID-19, as infections in the country continue to soar.
South Africa’s confirmed cases increased by their most in a single day on Thursday, rising by more than 13,000 to 238,339 cases. Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, is now the epicentre of the virus with nearly 82,000 cases.
Indonesia reported 1,611 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total count to 72,347, its health ministry said.
Deaths related to COVID-19 rose by 52, taking fatalities to 3,469, ministry official Achmad Yurianto told a televised news briefing. There are 33,529 people who have recovered.
India reported a record 26,506 new coronavirus cases as authorities reimposed lockdowns in its most populous state and in an industrial hub, home to carmakers, drug factories and brewers.
The new cases pushed India’s tally to nearly 800,000 cases, the world’s third-biggest outbreak, behind only the United States and Brazil in confirmed infections.
There have been more than 21,000 deaths in India since the first case was detected there in January, federal health ministry data showed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the epidemic and put millions of people back to work, in early June eased an initial lockdown of the 1.3 billion population imposed in March.
But rising new flare-ups of the virus has been forcing some major industrial towns and states to impose localised restrictions.
Russia’s death toll from the coronavirus edged past 11,000, as the country reported 174 new deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre reported 6,635 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally of infections to 713,936, the world’s fourth-highest caseload.
The death toll now stands at 11,017. Russia says 489,068 people have recovered.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said if the coronavirus situation in the Central Asian country does not improve by the end of its second lockdown, it would raise questions about the cabinet’s ability to work in its current composition.
Tokayev said the government would allocate an additional 150 billion tenge ($363m) towards combatting the outbreak and urged the central bank to lower its inflation target to 8-8.5 percent from 9-11 percent this year.
The economic fallout from the pandemic has negatively affected about 31 million workers in Vietnam, with 900,000 out of work and nearly 18 million people receiving less income than before, a government agency said.
If solutions to drive business activity were not immediately implemented, there could be five million more people out of work by the end of the year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.
The country’s economy has suffered, with second-quarter growth at its slowest pace in at least 30 years due to the impact of the pandemic, putting the government’s 2020 economic targets well out of reach.
We speak to a doctor in India about how plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is being used to help those still battling the virus, with some positive results. pic.twitter.com/LYgZNb1y3T
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 10, 2020
The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) may delay the start of the next domestic season, scheduled for July 24, after coronavirus infections at several clubs surged, its medical commission said.
More than half of top-flight clubs as well as second-tier teams have been hit by the virus, with Cherno More Varna reporting 16 cases and Cup winners Lokomotiv Plovdiv nine.
“The medical commission made a proposal for the championship to start one or two weeks later than planned,” commission secretary Mihail Iliev told Reuters news agency. “We believe it’s a reasonable step in view of the complicated epidemiological situation.”
Iliev, a former Bulgarian national team doctor, said the BFU’s executive committee would take the final decision in coming days.
Hong Kong’s Education Bureau announced the suspension of all schools from Monday after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases that has fuelled fears of a renewed community spread in the city.
Schools in the Asian financial hub have been mostly shut since February with many having switched to online learning and lessons by conference call. Many international schools are already on summer break.
The city reported 42 new cases on Thursday, of which 34 were locally transmitted, marking the second consecutive day of rising local infections.
Some of the recent cases involved students and parents, said Education Secretary Kevin Yeung.
A clinical trial of Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s Avigan drug yielded inconclusive results as a treatment of COVID-19, Japanese researchers said.
Although patients given the drug early in the trial showed more improvement than those who got delayed doses, the results did not reach statistical significance, Fujita Health University researcher Yohei Doi said.
The results, announced at a news conference, followed the completion of a clinical trial conducted between March and May on 89 patients across Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said he hoped the drug would be approved as a COVID-19 treatment in May, but a shortage of patients in Japan delayed the progress of clinical trials. It has been approved as a COVID-19 treatment in Russia and India.
Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.
Hong Kong is set to announce the suspension of all schools after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases, the South China Morning Post reported.
The newspaper cited a medical source as saying that at least 30 more people had tested positive for the virus on Friday. Eleven of the new cases were at a public housing estate.
The city had reported 42 new cases on Thursday, of which 34 were locally transmitted.
Australia will halve the number of citizens allowed to return home from overseas each week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as authorities struggle to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the country’s second-largest city.
From Monday, only 4,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed back into the country each day, down from about 8,000 currently, Morrison said.
Those who return will also have to pay for their quarantine stays.
“The decision that we took … was to ensure that we could put our focus on the resources needed to do the testing and tracing and not have to have resources diverted to other tasks,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra after a meeting of the national cabinet.
China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens to take precautions against an outbreak of pneumonia in the country that it says is more lethal than COVID-19.
In a statement on its official WeChat account, the embassy said there had been a “significant increase” in cases in the cities of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent since mid-June.
The disease’s mortality rate “is much higher than that of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus”, it said, noting pneumonia in Kazakhstan had killed 1,772 people in the first half of the year, with 628 deaths in June alone. The deaths included that of Chinese citizens.
It remains unclear whether it is caused by a virus related to coronavirus or by a different strain. The embassy said Kazakhstan’s health ministry and other health institutions were now carrying out a “comparative study”, but no conclusions had yet been made.
Kazakhstan has recorded more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 264 deaths.
The US state of California filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Trump administration rule that could force tens of thousands of international students to leave the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Trump Administration’s unlawful policy … threatens to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and exile hundreds of thousands of college students studying in the United States,” a statement announcing the lawsuit said.
The United States on Thursday posted 65,551 new coronavirus cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The previous daily record was on Tuesday, with more than 60,200 cases in one day.
Algeria will reimpose travel restrictions on Friday and increase testing in a bid to stop a rise in coronavirus infections, the government said.
Under the measure, citizens will be barred from travelling to and from 29 provinces including the capital, Algiers, for a week starting on Friday, the government said in a statement.
The authorities last month eased restrictions, shortening a curfew – from 7pm to 7am to 8pm to 5am – in those provinces and ending it in the remaining 19.
Diosdado Cabello, leader of the Venezuelan socialist party, said he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Cabello is considered the second-most powerful person in Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro and made the announcement on Twitter, stating that he is isolated, getting treatment and will overcome the illness.
“We will win!” he wrote in conclusion.
Wearing masks and gloves, Singaporeans began casting their ballots under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is pushing the city-state’s economy towards its deepest recession and has made concerns over jobs the focus of the election.
“I think it’s ok to vote during a pandemic because the conditions aren’t that severe at this point and all necessary precautions are being taken,” said Malini Nathan, 42, a communications executive.
“Issues I am concerned about are healthcare, job security and retirement,” Nathan said.
Citizens have each been given a recommended voting window.
Wearing masks is compulsory in public. And voters are expected to spend no more than five minutes in a polling station, where they will self-scan identity cards, sanitise their hands and pull on disposable gloves before receiving a ballot paper.
COVID-19 patients and those under quarantine cannot vote, but a mobile polling team will bring the ballot box to the rooms of Singaporeans who have recently returned from overseas and are being isolated at hotels.
Sample counts are expected soon after the close of polls at 8pm (12:00 GMT) with final results due in the early hours of Saturday.
In power since independence in 1965, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is expected to carry Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to another comfortable victory.
Another update on the Brazilian president – Jair Bolsonaro’s press office is saying he is in good health after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
“President Jair Bolsonaro, diagnosed with COVID-19 on [July] 7, is getting on well, without complications,” the statement says.
“He is in good health and continues to be monitored routinely by the medical team of the Presidency of the Republic.”
Two days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Bolsonaro repeated his view that the looming economic crisis from the pandemic is more dangerous than the virus for Brazil.
In an online broadcast from the presidential residence, the Brazilian president said mayors and governors need to reopen the country for business. “Otherwise the consequences will be harmful for Brazil,” he said.
South Africa announced on Thursday its highest daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 13,674.
Africa’s most developed country is now a hot spot in the global pandemic with 238,339 total confirmed cases. Gauteng province, which contains Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, is home to more than a third of the total cases.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said South Africa could run out of available hospital beds within a month.
Mexico on Thursday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,280 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 282,283, health ministry data showed.
The country also recorded 730 additional deaths, bringing its overall death toll to 33,526.
Mexico’s previous one-day record was posted a day earlier on Wednesday, when 6,995 new cases were registered.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 9, here.