US could see 100,000 coronavirus daily cases, says Fauci: Live

Top infectious disease expert warns of ‘disturbing’ death toll if people in US do not adhere to health guidelines.

Medical workers treat a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient at the United Memorial Medical Center''s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) intensive care unit in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 29, 2020. REUTE
  • The United States could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases daily if Americans do not start following public health recommendations, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has warned.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country’s COVID-19 death rate is under control, but that the country is at a “critical juncture”.
  • More than 10.3 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, more than 5.2 million have recovered, and more than 507,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates.

Tuesday, June 30

20:34 GMT – Weekly death toll in French nursing homes down to nine

The number of people who died from coronavirus in France has risen by 30 to 29,843, as the health ministry included weekly data for the death toll in nursing homes.

The number of people who died in hospitals increased by 21 to 19,346, compared with the daily average of 16 over the past seven days.

The ministry also reported that nine people died of the virus in nursing homes over the last seven days, more than three times fewer than the 31 reported a week ago.

20:10 GMT – Fake contact tracing part of ‘rapidly evolving’ fraud, US DOJ warns

Scammers are posing as COVID-19 contact tracers as a way to steal personal information, three major US government agencies have said, describing “rapidly evolving” fraud related to the pandemic.

The US Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and Federal Trade Commission warned that fake contact tracers were asking for money and trying to collect social security numbers, bank and credit card information from individuals.

“COVID-19 fraud is rapidly evolving. Operating contact tracing schemes is just one method that criminals use to target unsuspecting patients nationwide, attempting to steal their personal information and commit healthcare fraud,” said HHS Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Gary Cantrell.

19:50 GMT – Biden blisters Trump pandemic actions as ‘historic mismanagement’

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has used the occasion of his first news conference in nearly 90 days to launch a fresh attack on US President Donald Trump for what he called the president’s “historic mismanagement” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read about it here.

Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, the US [Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

19:45 GMT – US Senate Republicans to push next coronavirus aid bill in late July

Another potentially large coronavirus aid bill will move through the US Senate in late July, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans have predicted.

Without providing details of a bill still being crafted, McConnell said “basic protections” provided by federal unemployment insurance should be included, but indicated they would not be as generous as those in pandemic-related legislation enacted earlier this year.

19:27 GMT – Canada extends quarantine order, international border closure

Canada is extending a global travel ban and its mandatory quarantine measures that require most travellers to Canada, including citizens returning home, to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, the Canadian government has said.

The mandatory quarantine order is now in effect until at least August 31, while the travel ban for most foreign travellers is extended to July 31, according to federal documents.

The measures, designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, were set to expire on June 30.

17:45 GMT – Case in refugee camp on US-Mexico border raises alarm

An asylum seeker has tested positive for the coronavirus in a sprawling encampment just steps from the United States-Mexico border in Matamoros, underscoring the challenges migrants face in protecting themselves from the pandemic.

Immigrant advocates are intensely worried about the potential for an outbreak in a camp housing an estimated 2,000 migrants.

Read about it here.

Tents line the pavement in the Matamoros encampment housing asylum seekers on the US-Mexico border that has seen its first coronavirus case [Pu Ying Huang/Al Jazeera]

16:58 GMT – US could see 100,000 new cases a day: Fauci

The United States could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day if Americans do not start following public health recommendations, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has warned.

“We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day,” Fauci said in testimony to the Senate health and education committee.

“I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci said. “And so, I’m very concerned.”

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases declined to predict a figure for the expected number of deaths in the US from the pandemic, but said it is going to be “disturbing”.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on efforts to get back to work and
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on efforts to get back to work and school during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Washington, D.C., U.S. June 30, 2020. Al Drago/Pool via REUTERS

16:40 GMT – Cases in Turkey near 200,000 mark

Turkey has confirmed 1,293 more cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total tally to nearly 200,000, according to the country’s health minister.

Citing the Health Ministry data, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that the number of coronavirus cases stands at 173,111.

16:35 GMT – Latin America deaths could rise to 438,000 by October: WHO director

The death toll from COVID-19 could rise to 438,000 in Latin America by October if prevention measures are not kept up, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, has said.

She cautioned that mathematical model projections should not be taken literally but as planning guides. Under current conditions, the pandemic is expected to peak in Chile and Colombia by mid-July, but in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru in August and in Costa Rica in October.

16:05 GMT – No guarantee US will have safe, effective vaccine: Fauci

The United States cannot count on the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the government’s top infectious diseases expert has said while urging Americans to work together to fight the coronavirus.

“It’s extremely important to have safe and effective vaccines available for everyone in this country,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a US Senate committee.

Fauci, however, added that “there is no guarantee … we’ll have a safe and effective vaccine”.

Read more here.

Scores of COVID-19 vaccine candidates using a variety of approaches are being developed and tested at an unprecedented speed [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

15:43 GMT – Eight states added to New York governor’s quarantine order

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered people arriving from an additional eight states to quarantine for 14 days.

The eight additional states in the United States are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee – all of which have growing caseloads, Cuomo said in a statement.

15:40 GMT – UK death toll rises by 155 to 43,730

The death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom has risen by 155 to 43,730, health officials said.

15:30 GMT – WHO director says relaxing measures too soon can bring renewed surge

Countries, states and cities that relax restrictions too soon can be flooded with new coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne, has warned in a virtual briefing from Washington, DC in the United States.

In the US, Washington state and New York are seeing very low numbers of new cases and deaths, but 27 other states are reporting exponential growth, she said.

The Americas region reported 5.1 million cases and more than 247,000 deaths due to COVID-19 as of June 29.

15:25 GMT – US cases double in June in at least 10 states

Coronavirus cases more than doubled in at least 10 US states, including Florida and Texas in the month of June, a Reuters analysis shows.

Arizona recorded the biggest jump in cases for the month at 294 percent, followed by South Carolina and Arkansas. Cases also more than doubled in Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Utah.

Nationally, cases rose by at least 43 percent and deaths increased by 20 percent.

14:50 GMT – UK’s Boris Johnson pledges ‘new deal’ to build economy

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised a “new deal” to rebuild the economy hit by the lockdown.

He said the central plank of the plan is construction, announcing that the government would shortly bring forward the most radical reforms to the planning system since the end of the World War II.

Johnson said reforms include cutting red tape involved in converting commercial properties into residential housing – a move to kick-start the construction industry and speed up rebuilding.

Read more here.

UK PM urged to tackle unemployment in poorest parts

14:16 GMT – Toronto mayor wants masks mandatory, citing US problems

The mayor of Canada’s largest city is asking the Toronto city council to make masks mandatory in public indoor spaces.

“You have told us you don’t want to see a repeat of what you see when you turn on your TV and see reports from the United States,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said.

The bylaw will come into effect July 7, if passed.

Dr Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said there is growing evidence that shows non medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Phase 2 reopening in Toronto
People enjoy drinks and food on a patio as the provincial phase 2 of reopening begins in Toronto, Canada [Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

14:10 GMT – US envoy to Afghanistan not going to Kabul

The US peace envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will not be going to the Afghan capital, Kabul, while in the region due to the pandemic and instead will video conference with Afghan leaders, the US State Department has said.

Afghanistan’s dilapidated health system is grappling with the pandemic, with the number of infections thought to far outnumber the official tally of over 31,000 cases, including 733 deaths.

Khalilzad, who was in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, on Tuesday, will be traveling to Pakistan later in the day or early Wednesday before meeting with Taliban officials in Qatar, where they have a political office.

14:00 GMT – EU agrees on ‘safe’ list of 14 countries for travel resumption

European Union governments have agreed on an initial “safe list” of 14 countries from which they will allow non-essential travel from July, with the US among the most notable of absences.

The “safe” countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, the European Council said on Tuesday.

In addition, China would be included if it reciprocated by allowing in EU travellers.

Read more here.

Berlin Waits For Tourists As EU Travel Restrictions Ease
Non-essential travel to the EU has been banned since mid-March [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

13:55 GMT

Hi, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Toronto taking over the live updates from my colleague Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha.

12:30 GMT – Spain to open border with Morocco only in case of reciprocity

Spain will only open its borders with Morocco if there is a reciprocal agreement to let people from Spain enter the North African country, Spanish government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montego said.

Morocco is part of a group of 15 countries to be included on a list of safe travel destinations that the European Union will unveil later on Tuesday.

12:10 GMT – UN rights chief slams virus response in China, Russia, US

The UN rights chief said COVID-19 was being instrumentalised to silence free speech, citing China and Russia, while voicing alarm at statements in the US that “deny the reality” of the virus.

Michelle Bachelet pointed to Russia, China, Kosovo, Nicaragua among others where “threats and intimidation against journalists, bloggers and civic activists, particularly at the local level, (were being used) with the apparent aim of discouraging criticism of the authorities’ responses to COVID-19”.

Bachelet also voiced concern about “severe restrictions on freedoms of expression” in Egypt and “excessive and arbitrary enforcement” of pandemic response measures in El Salvador.  

“Censorship and criminalisation of speech are likely to suppress crucial information needed to address the pandemic,” she told the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

11:35 GMT – India’s prime minister says virus’s spread still critical

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a live address on Tuesday that the country’s coronavirus death rate is under control, but that the country is at a “critical juncture”.

Modi’s sixth address since the pandemic began came as India reported nearly 560,000 infections and over 16,000 deaths.

“People are becoming careless,” he said, adding, “we need to call out the violators.”

In India, the world’s fourth-worst affected country, cases have shot up since the end of a 10-week lockdown in early June. 

A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a sample using a swab from a person at a local health centre to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of
While some restrictions remain, many industries and businesses have reopened [Adnan Abidi/Reuters]

10:25 GMT – UN calls for $10bn aid for Syrians beset by war and COVID-19

The United Nations has pushed governments at a virtual conference for nearly $10bn in aid for Syria, where nine years of war has displaced millions in a humanitarian crisis exacerbated by soaring food prices and the coronavirus crisis.

The now annual fund-raising round for Syria brought together 60 governments and non-official agencies via video in an event hosted by the European Union. 

“Syrian men, women and children have experienced injury, displacement, destruction, terror … on a massive scale,” said UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen.

“The danger of COVID-19 remains acute.”

10:00 GMT – Airbus slows services push amid coronavirus crisis

Airbus has postponed its target of building a $10bn services business amid the coronavirus crisis, but is sticking with a strategy of supporting airline operations, a senior executive said as the company heads for a broader shake-up.

Airbus has said it wants to boost services revenues to $10bn by 2030 compared with more than four billion dollars in 2019, mirroring a push by rival Boeing.

But the coronavirus travel crisis has hit demand for services such as spare parts and maintenance data-crunching.

09:45 GMT – Africa free-trade vision clouded by virus and pace of talks

A historic deal to smash down tariff barriers within Africa is being braked by the coronavirus pandemic and a thicket of negotiating problems.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was formally launched just over a year ago in a blaze of optimism.

The accord aims to phase out all tariffs on commerce on the continent, a goal that backers say could give trade a mega-jolt as only 15 percent of trade by African nations is with continental neighbours.

It was supposed to take operational effect on Wednesday, July 1, but the timeline has slipped, under the complications caused by the COVID-19 outbreak but also the slow pace of negotiations themselves.

09:15 GMT – United States not on EU’s ‘safe’ travel list, diplomats say

The United States is not on a “safe list” of destinations for non-essential travel due to be unveiled by European Union governments later on Tuesday, three diplomats have said.

The 27-member bloc is expected to give outline approval to leisure or business travel from Wednesday to 14 countries beyond its borders when they vote on the list by midday Brussels time (10:00 GMT), the diplomats said.

The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, they said.

Russia and Brazil, along with the United States, are among countries that do not make the initial “safe list”.

09:00 GMT – Spain GDP shrinks 5.2 percent in first three months of the year

Spanish official statistics show that the country’s gross domestic product contracted 5.2 percent during the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, the biggest drop in at least half a century.

The National Institute of Statistics, or INE, said that the economic freeze imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus impacted the economy like never before since quarterly records began to be kept in 1970. 

08:45 GMT – India’s daily coronavirus cases at about 20,000 as some cities extend lockdowns

Several Indian cities have prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, as daily cases in the country remained close to 20,000.

India reported 18,522 new cases over the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906.

With more than 550,000 total infections, India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases.

08:30 GMT – COVID-19 increases child marriage and FGM risk for millions: UN

The coronavirus pandemic is reversing progress on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), jeopardising the futures of millions of girls, a senior UN official has said.

“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” Natalia Kanem, head of the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA said.

An additional 13 million girls could be forced into child marriage, and two million more could undergo FGM in the next decade, beyond what would have been expected, as COVID-19 disrupts global efforts to end both practices, UNFPA said.

Read more here.

07:55 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus case tally approaches 650,000

Russia has reported 6,693 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its nationwide tally to 647,849.

The country’s coronavirus response centre said 154 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,320.

07:40GMT – Uzbekistan imposes new restrictions as cases rise 

Uzbekistan has imposed an overnight curfew in some parts of the country, including the capital Tashkent, as it seeks to curb a fresh rise in COVID-19 infections following the gradual lifting of a two-month lockdown.

The Central Asian nation had been cautiously lifting a nationwide lockdown that had been in place in April and May. However, after a decline in COVID-19 cases between mid-April and mid-May, it has once again seen a steady rise.

07:25 GMT – Parts of Australian city locked down to curb virus spike

Hundreds of thousands of people across Melbourne’s north and west have been ordered to stay at home as Australia’s second-biggest city struggled to contain a spike in coronavirus cases.

The state of Victoria has recorded 233 COVID-19 cases since Thursday – mostly in Melbourne – a major surge in a country that has otherwise successfully curbed the spread of the virus.

State premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne would be subject to the lockdown from midnight local time Wednesday. The areas covered are home to more than 300,000 people.

The state of Victoria has recorded 233 COVID-19 cases since Thursday. [File: William WEST / AFP]

07:10 GMT – Shell says will take up to $22bn hit from coronavirus

Royal Dutch Shell has said it will write $22bn off the value of its assets after sharply lowering its oil and gas price outlook in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision also comes as the Anglo-Dutch company reviews its operations after CEO Ben van Beurden laid out plans in April to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Shell, which has a market value of $126.5bn , said in an update ahead of its second-quarter results on July 30 that it will take an aggregate post-tax impairment charge in the range of $15 to $22bn in the quarter.

06:55 GMT – Pakistan records 2,825 new infections 

Pakistan, one of the country’s where the coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid rate amid an almost completely loosened lockdown, registered 2,825 new cases of the virus to take its tally to 209,337.

Last week, the country saw a reduction in average daily rises in cases that medical experts say is largely due to a reduction in daily testing. On Monday, testing remained low, with 20,930 tests carried out, far below the country’s peak of 31,681 tests on June 19.

Pakistan COVID-19 infections pass 100,000

06:40 GMT – UK locks down city of Leicester after COVID-19 flare-up

The United Kingdom will introduce legal changes shortly to enforce a lockdown imposed on the English city of Leicester where there has been a flare up of the novel coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The city of Leicester in central England is the first area of the UK to face a targetted local coronavirus lockdown after the government began easing the nationwide lockdown earlier this month.

“We will be bringing forward a legal change very shortly, in the next couple of days, because some of the measures that we’ve unfortunately had to take in Leicester will require a legal underpinning,” Hancock told Sky.

Hi, this is Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha taking over the live updates from my colleague Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

05:10 GMT – Thailand reports no local cases of coronavirus for 36th day

Thailand has reported no locally-transmitted cases of coronavirus for the 36th day as a state of emergency introduced to cope with the pandemic was due to expire on Tuesday.

The country reported two new cases, both in Thais recently returned from Qatar who are now in state quarantine.

04:40 GMT – UN warns coronavirus can set back tackling child marriage

The UN is warning that the pandemic is reversing progress to tackle child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). 

The UNFPA, the UN’s reproductive and sexual health agency, says an extra 13 million girls could be married off and two million more endure FGM in the next 10 years because of disruption caused by the coronavirus.

“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many girls are now at risk,” UNFPA head Natasha Kanem said at the launch of a report into the “silent and endemic crisis” of harmful practices against girls and women. 

#AJOPINION: FGM kills girls, women. Even if we survive it

03:55 GMT – MPs warn on Thailand ‘state of emergency’ extension

ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights has urged Thailand not to extend the state of emergency it imposed to tackle the coronavirus.

Maria Chin Abdullah, Malaysian MP and APHR member, says the country has brought its daily number of coronavirus cases under control and, with almost all restrictions lifted, has “no reason” to justify emergency powers. 

“Thailand must lift the emergency decree immediately, continue its fight against the pandemic within the usual power structure, and focus on developing an economy that closes the glaring inequalities that this virus has exposed,” Chin Abdullah said in a statement.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has 10 members, including Thailand.

03:25 GMT – China reports 19 new COVID-19 cases, 7 in Beijing

China’s National Health Commission says the country had 19 new cases of coronavirus up to midnight on June 29, compared with 12 the day before.

Seven of the new cases were in Beijing, where a mass testing campaign is under way in the wake of an outbreak that began in the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.

02:45 GMT – Los Angeles officials warn hospitals could be overwhelmed

Los Angeles is becoming the new coronavirus hotspot in the US as the state of California announced a record jump of 7,418 new cases on Monday.

The number in LA, the second-biggest city in the US, exceeded 100,000 despite strict curbs on nightlife and a requirement to wear masks in all public areas.

“The alarming increase in cases … signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement.

02:30 GMT – South Australia cancels plan to reopen domestic borders

The state of South Australia has cancelled plans to reopen its borders to interstate travellers from neighbouring Victoria after a spike in coronavirus cases there.

Restrictions were supposed to be removed on July 20.

Victoria reported 75 new cases of coronavirus on Monday. It has yet to release numbers for Tuesday.

02:00 GMT – India’s first COVID-19 vaccine approved for human trials

Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has secured regulatory approval for human trials.

Phase I and II clinical trials for Covaxin, India’s first domestic candidate for a vaccine, will begin in July. 

Read more on that story here

00:55 GMT – Los Angeles to close beaches for July 4 holiday weekend

Los Angeles is to close its beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend after reporting a record one-day rise in cases.

People usually flock to the seaside during the holiday, which marks US Independence Day.

Officials said it was too much of a risk allowing the beaches to remain open. 

00:00 GMT – Arizona closes bars, gyms and cinemas

The governor of the US state of Arizona has told bars, cinemas, gyms, water parks and nightclubs they have to close again.

Doug Ducey says the closures are necessary after coronavirus cases and hospitalisations reached new highs over the weekend, and he expects the numbers to get worse.

“We simply cannot let up,” he told a press briefing. “We’re not going back to normal anytime soon.”

23:30 GMT – Researchers find new swine flu with pandemic potential 

Researchers have discovered a new type of swine flu with the potential to cause a pandemic, according to a study published in the US science journal PNAS.

G4, a flu genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 pandemic, has “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans,” the researchers wrote.

They added that the G4 type was already predominant in pigs and that control of the infection in pigs and close monitoring of people working with the animals should be “urgently implemented”.

Read more here

Source: Al Jazeera 


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read the updates from yesterday (June 29) here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies