Brazil coronavirus death toll passes 60,000: Live updates

Brazil registered 1,038 deaths in the past 24 hours as the pandemic worsens in country with second-highest fatalities.

Gravediggers wearing protective suits carry the casket of a 63-year-old woman who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Vila Formosa cemetery, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 26, 2020. REUTERS/A
  • Brazil surpassed 60,000 deaths from the coronavirus after recording more than 1,000 fatalities over the last 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said.

  • The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution demanding an “immediate cessation of hostilities” for at least 90 days in key conflicts including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Congo to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Italy’s hard-hit northern region of Lombardy accounted for considerably more than half of the nation’s latest confirmed 187 coronavirus cases – raising the total to 240,760 nationwide. The Ministry of Health also reported 21 new deaths, raising to 34,788 the total of known deaths.
  • Close to 10.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, over 5.6 million have recovered, and more than 517,000 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates.

Thursday, July 2

22:26 GMT – US COVID-19 cases hit all-time high  

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States climbed to an all-time high of more than 50,000 per day on Thursday, with the infection curve rising in 40 out of 50 states in a reversal that has largely spared only the Northeast.

In yet another alarming indicator, 36 US states are seeing a rise in the percentage of tests that are coming back positive for the virus.

California covid coronavirus US
Parks and beaches have been shut down for the 4th of July US Independence Day holiday weekend as the coronavirus surges across the United States [Mike Blake/Reuters]

The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not wearing face masks or following other social-distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks.

The US recorded 50,700 new cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the deadliest phase of the crisis in April and May.

20:37 GMT – UK confirmed coronavirus death toll rises

The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose by 89 to 43,995 from 43,906 the day before, government figures showed.

Including suspected cases, the toll is approaching 55,000, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources.

20:26 GMT – Pence says he supports Florida’s governor’s efforts to slow coronavirus spread

United States Vice President Mike Pence said he fully supports the Florida governor’s efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak, even as the state earlier reported the biggest one-day increase in cases since the pandemic started.

“We fully support your prudent steps in working to slow the spread and the rising cases that are impacting Florida today,” Pence said at a media briefing in Tampa, Florida, with the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

20:15 GMT – Lockdown ends in Nigeria’s Kano, where coronavirus killed hundreds

The Nigerian state of Kano ended its novel coronavirus lockdown, the local ministry of health said, months after an outbreak of what was originally called a “mysterious disease” killed hundreds of citizens.

COVID-19 in Africa: Virus spreading from urban to rural areas

The easing comes weeks after other parts of Nigeria relaxed restrictions, and marks an effort to resume everyday life in Kano, the commercial and cultural heart of predominantly Muslim northern Nigerian.

In April and early May, roughly 500 people died in the state, a government probe found, saying the deaths were likely due to coronavirus. Local authorities did not acknowledge the outbreak at the time.

Kano’s health ministry on its official Twitter account did not provide details of the state lockdown ending except to say civil servants would return to work from July 6.

20:05 GMT – High-flying face masks arrive at Mexican hospitals by drone

To eliminate the risk of contagion carried by human beings, a Mexican company has launched a drone delivery service to get clean medical supplies to hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico-City based firm Sincronia Logistica has begun deploying unmanned drones to deliver personal protective gear and other essential equipment to public hospitals in the central state of Queretaro, north of the capital.

Mexican healthcare workers have staged protests nationwide over the lack of personal protective equipment. The drones help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus by allowing for quick, contact-free drop-offs.

19:05 GMT – Spain to hike taxes to offset impact of virus crisis

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said fiscal reform was “inevitable” if Spain was to deal with the economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, pointing to tax hikes, notably for larger companies.

Thousands struggling to make ends meet in Spain

Sanchez also pledged 9 billion euros ($10.1 billion) for Spain’s regions to reinforce the public health system, which was stretched to the maximum by the epidemic that claimed more than 28,300 lives.

18:30 GMT – French coronavirus death toll rises

The number of deaths in France from the new coronavirus has risen by 14 from the previous day to 29,875, the country’s health department said.

The number of people in hospital fell by 188 to 8,148 and the number of people in intensive care units fell by nine to 573, with both numbers continuing weeks-long downtrends.

18:15 GMT – Argentine ex-president Menem back in hospital with breathing difficulties

Former Argentina president Carlos Menem was admitted to hospital again suffering from breathing difficulties, family sources told the local press.

It is only three days since Menem, who was president from 1989 to1999, was discharged after two weeks in hospital receiving treatment for severe pneumonia.

He was tested for coronavirus, but the results came back negative.

18:10 GMT – Bangladesh shuts jute mills, lays off 25,000 workers

Bangladesh shut its loss-making jute mills and laid off 25,000 employees, saying the state-owned plants could not compete with the private sector.

Jute, a vegetable fibre spun into coarse threads, grew in popularity over the past decade after a long decline, as jute bags became an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic ones.

But the state-run factories struggled to generate profits and compete with some 250 smaller, private mills that employ 300,000 workers.

The decision came as the impoverished nation struggled with the coronavirus, which badly hit export-oriented apparel factories when global brands cancelled or withheld orders.

17:26 GMT – “Very little risk” that pets can infect owners

There is “very little risk” that pets can infect their owners with COVID-19, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, told a Geneva news conference that felines, ferrets and “even tigers” have been infected with the disease.

“There is very little risk from domestic animals because there was some concern about domestic animals becoming a source of infection,” she said.

16:45 GMT – Florida reports surge in daily cases

Florida has reported 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time.

Florida faces COVID-19 surge after reopening

That daily number is six times higher than the daily record less than a month ago. The state also reported 67 deaths for the second time in a week.

The seven-day average for daily deaths is now back over 40, a 30 percent increase from two weeks ago. The state’s death rate peaked at 60 per day in early May and declined to 30 by mid-June.

16:30 GMT – Swiss restrict entry from 29 countries

Travellers to Switzerland from 29 countries will from July 6 have to register with the authorities and go into self-isolation to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus, the government said.

The list of affected nations includes the United States, Sweden, Brazil and Russia, which have been designated as countries with a high risk of infection.

Visitors who have spent time in the named countries in the previous 14 days must notify the Swiss authorities immediately on arrival and then go into quarantine for 10 days, the government said.

15:45 GMT – Airbus chief says company can save 3,500 jobs if Berlin, Paris offer handouts

European aircraft builder Airbus said it could save up to 3,500 jobs in Germany and France if government help is forthcoming, out of 15,000 layoffs planned worldwide over the coronavirus’s impact.

“We could preserve up to 500 jobs if the German government supported us via its programme to develop hydrogen drive for planes. Prolonging shorter hours schemes to 24 months could save 1,500 more,” chief executive Guillaume Faury told news weekly Der Spiegel, adding that 1,500 posts could also be saved in France.

15:00 GMT – Brazil tops 60,000 deaths 

Brazil surpassed 60,000 coronavirus deaths, the Ministry of Health said, citing a recent wave of contamination in southern and midwestern areas of the country.

COVID-19: Brazil deploys army to help protect Indigenous people

A total of 1,038 additional deaths were registered in the past 24 hours, taking the overall number of fatalities to 60,632, the ministry said.

The number of deaths in the south and the midwest regions grew by 37 percent and 36 percent, respectively, in the epidemiological week ended last Saturday, the ministry added, in contrast to setbacks seen in the North and Southeast and a trend of stability in the Northeast.

14:20 GMT – Serbia reports new spike in coronavirus cases

Serbia reported 359 new coronavirus infections and six deaths, marking a new spike within a persistent upward trend that has forced the return of some restrictions on public life.

The country had seemed to be on the verge of bringing the COVID-19 epidemic to a close, with the number of new cases in the low double digits in late May and early June.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Belgrade

But since then, new outbreaks have hit Belgrade and the town of Novi Pazar, where the healthcare system quickly became overwhelmed.

Infection numbers began to rise after the government fully relaxed restrictions, with Serbia even becoming the first European country to allow spectators at football matches, with one game drawing a crowd of more than 20,000 people.

13:40 GMT – UK will ease coronavirus quarantine for some countries

The United Kingdom will be easing the quarantine measures for air travellers, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding that more details of plan will be released this week.

“As we set out earlier this week … we will be easing health measures at the border by allowing passengers arriving from specific countries and territories to be exempted from self-isolation requirements,” the spokesman told reporters, adding that the details would come this week.

The government said on Friday it would ditch a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving from countries it deems to be lower risk for COVID-19, but has as yet not listed the countries that would include.

12:25 GMT – Novak and Jelena Djokovic test negative 

Tennis player Novak Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, have tested negative for the coronavirus ten days after announcing they had contracted the disease.

“Novak Djokovic and his wife Jelena are negative for COVID-19. That was shown by the results of the PCR tests that both had in Belgrade,” his media team said in a statement.

The top-ranked player tested positive for the virus after playing in an exhibition series he organised in Serbia and Croatia amid the pandemic.

Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also contracted the virus after playing in the same matches.

12:10 GMT – Ireland: Masks to become mandatory

People in Ireland will have to wear face coverings in shops starting from July 10, says Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

11:36 GMT – Africa lost almost $55bn in travel and tourism: AU 

African countries have lost almost $55bn in travel and tourism revenues in three months due to the pandemic, the African Union commissioner for infrastructure and energy has said.

Amani Abou-Zeid told a news conference the air industry will be greatly affected, adding that: “Some airlines in the continent will not make it post-COVID-19.”

11:07 GMT – New infection spike in Japan’s capital

Tokyo has confirmed 107 new coronavirus infections, its highest daily tally in two months, but Japan’s chief cabinet secretary has said there is no need to reintroduce a state of emergency.

“It’s really unpleasant that it is increasing somewhat. I’d like to ask all Tokyo residents and everyone at businesses for their cooperation to prevent that,” said the city’s Governor Yuriko Koike.

10:44 GMT – England plans to reopen schools

UK Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson has unveiled his plan to reopen schools to all pupils in September.

Among other measures, students will be divided into separate groups, known as “bubbles”, to limit contact and to better isolate new infections. Schools should consider asking pupils in different bubbles to follow separate start and finish times but break times and free periods may be cut to ensure this does not reduce teaching time.

At present, only some students in certain year groups and the children of key workers are at school.

A year six classroom at St John's Primary School as some children returned to the school as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown eases in Fulham, West London, Britain,
A year six classroom at St John’s Primary School as some children returned to the school as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown eases in Fulham, West London, UK [File: Kevin Coombs/Reuters]

10:28 GMT – Israel reports highest daily rise

Israel has recorded 966 new cases, the highest single-day spike since the virus was first detected on February 21.

As the number of active cases surged to 8,647 in recent days, after it dropped below 2,000 last month, the country’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said last week that the country was experiencing a second wave of the pandemic and that he would have imposed new restricting measures.

So far, the country registered 26,452 infections, including 324 deaths.

10:00 GMT – Saudi Arabia extends economic aid

In an effort to cushion the economic effect of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has extended for an additional period several government initiatives to support the private sector and investors.

The news was reported by state news agency SPA, citing a decision by King Salman.

09:36 GMT – China urged to ramp up testing capacity

China’s local governments and medical institutes should ramp up and reserve coronavirus testing capacity in preparation for increased demand amid potential outbreaks, the National Health Commission has said in a guideline published on its website.

Two people are tested at the windows of a testing vehicle, following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Beijing, China, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Two people are tested at the windows of a testing vehicle, following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Beijing, China [Thomas Peter/Reuters]

Nucleic acid test results should be delivered within six hours for patients at fever clinics and within a day for those who volunteer to be tested, according to the guideline.

09:07 GMT – Indonesia reports record daily jump

With 1,624 cases in the past 24 hours, Indonesia reported its biggest jump in daily infections, says health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

This brings the total number of cases to 59,394. The country also reported 53 new deaths, taking the cumulative death toll to 2,987.

08:40 GMT – Non-COVID-19 related deaths spike in Indian city 

A spike in non-coronavirus related deaths in the Indian city of Ahmedabad highlights the effect of the pandemic on general healthcare, doctors warn.

The rise in the number of deaths in the most populous city in western Gujarat state is due to patients with serious illnesses either not able to go to hospitals or being afraid to visit them because of the virus, doctors said.

A man lights an oil lamp inside the tomb of Ahmad Shah during a special prayer meeting for the victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of the disease in Ahmedabad,
A man lights an oil lamp inside the tomb of Ahmad Shah during a special prayer meeting for the victims of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of the disease in Ahmedabad, India [Amit Dave/Reuters]

Data collected from twenty-four Hindu crematoriums and four of the largest Muslim graveyards in the city shows there have been 3,558 deaths in April and 7,150 in May. During the same months the previous year, the number of reported fatalities were, respectively, 2,784 and 2,706.

The numbers contain “ominous signals” for the rest of the country, doctor Rajib Dasgupta, a professor of community health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, told Reuters News Agency.

08:21 GMT – Emirates airline says issued over $517m in refunds 

Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, has processed close to 650,000 refunds over the past two months, refunding over 1.9 billion dirhams ($517m).

The Dubai-based carrier is operating a limited number of flights on a reduced network after the coronavirus pandemic brought global aviation to a near halt this year.

Emirates expects to process more than 500,000 refunds in the next two months, Chief Commercial Officer Adnan Kazim said in a statement.

08:05 GMT – UK’s Boohoo responds to damning reports

UK’s Boohoo has defended its supply chain practices after it came under fire for allegedly putting workers at risk of infection in its Leicester factories.

“The boohoo group will not tolerate any incidence of non-compliance especially in relation to the treatment of workers within our supply chain and we have terminated relationships with suppliers where evidence of this is found,” Boohoo said, adding it would investigate the allegations and take any necessary action.

The accusations to the online fashion retailer were gathered by the workers’ rights group Labour Behind the Label which said it received reports of employees being forced to come into work while sick with COVID-19 and factories operating illegally throughout lockdown.

07:46 GMT – In change of tone, Trump says he is ‘all for masks’

After long resisting wearing a face mask in public during the coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald Trump has now struck a different tone, saying he is in favour of the protective covering. 

Trump holds up a protective face shield during a behind-the-scenes tour of a Ford facility in Michigan in May [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]
Trump holds up a protective face shield during a behind-the-scenes tour of a Ford facility in Michigan in May [File: Leah Millis/Reuters] 

“I’m all for masks. I think masks are good,” Trump told Fox Business in an interview on Wednesday. His comments were made after politicians from his party suggested he wear a mask in public to set a good example as the number of daily coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 50,000.

Read the full story here

07:28 GMT – Russia’s latest figures

Russia has reported 6,760 new infections, pushing its nationwide tally to 661,165.

The authorities said 147 people have died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,683.

Grave diggers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) bury a person, who presumably died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the special purpose section of a
Gravediggers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) bury a person, who presumably died of the coronavirus disease, in the special purpose section of a graveyard on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, Russia [Anton Vaganov/Reuters]

06:47 GMT – Non-EU countries won’t be in ‘safe’ travel list: Hungary

Hungary will not add non-European Union countries to a “safe” travel list, except for Serbia, as it was requested by the EU.

“For the time being we cannot support the EU’s request … because this would go against the healthcare interests of the Hungarian people,” Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

06:15 GMT – Kazakhstan to implement softer second lockdown

In its latest effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Kazakhstan will close some non-essential businesses, limit travel between provinces, cut public transit hours of operation and ban public gatherings for two weeks.

The new restricting measures will be enforced starting from July 5, the cabinet said in a statement, adding that they could be tightened or extended later.


Hello, this is Virginia Pietromarchi in Doha, Qatar taking over the live blog from my colleague Ted Regencia.

05:08 GMT – Cuban capital to ease lockdown, joins rest of the country

Cuba - Coronavirus
Residents of Havana hold banners as they wait for the arrival of the Cuban medical personnel, who volunteered in the fight against coronavirus in the European principality of Andorra [Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters]

Cuba has announced it will begin easing a pandemic lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-phase process towards normalization.

The capital’s 2.2 million residents will once more be able to move around on public and private transport, go to the beach and other recreation centres and enjoy a seaside drive just in time for the summer break. They can also dine and have a drink, although social distancing and wearing masks remain mandatory. Optional medical and other services will also resume.

Only a handful of COVID-19 cases were reported in Cuba last month, all but a few in Havana. Most of the Caribbean island, home to 11.2 million inhabitants, has been free of the disease for more than a month.

04:48 GMT – India’s tally of coronavirus infections crosses 600,000

India’s coronavirus infections surpassed 600,000 on Thursday, with 17,834 deaths, as authorities battled to contain the pandemic while easing lockdown rules, officials and the health ministry said.

The increase presents a severe challenge for India’s strained medical capacity and overburdened health system, Reuters news agency reported.

An easing phase called “Unlock 2” was announced on Monday, allowing more economic activities to resume even as some densely populated containment zones stay under lockdown.

04:04 – Tokyo confirms more than 100 coronavirus cases on Thursday, NHK says

Coronavirus - Japan
 Tokyo’s daily count last exceeded 100 on May 2 [Koji Sasahara/AP]

Tokyo confirmed more than 100 new coronavirus infection cases on Thursday, public broadcaster NHK said, the Japanese capital’s highest daily tally in two months.

The city of 14 million initially sought to hold new daily cases below 20 since Japan lifted a state of emergency on May 25, but its tally has consistently exceeded 50 recently, according to Reuters news agency.

This week, the metropolitan government said it would move away from numerical targets and rely more on expert advice to rein in the virus and avert further economic slowdown. Tokyo’s daily count last exceeded 100 on May 2.

03:19 GMT – South Korea reports 54 new cases

South Korea reported 54 new cases as the virus continues to spread beyond the capital area and reach cities like Gwangju, which has shut schools and tightened social restrictions after dozens were found infected this week.

Health Minister Park Neung-hoo during a virus meeting expressed alarm over the rise of infections in Gwangju, which had one of the smallest caseloads among major South Korean cities before this week.

Park urged the city’s residents to refrain from unnecessary gatherings, maintain distance from others and wear masks.

The total number of cases nationwide has reached 12,904, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), with the death toll staying at 282.

02:55 GMT – Australia sets up checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

Australian police set up suburban checkpoints in new coronavirus hot spots in Melbourne on Thursday as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country’s second-largest city, even as travel restrictions eased elsewhere, according to Reuters news agency.

Images published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Thursday showed police flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Melbourne in Victoria state went into lockdown following a spike in new infections there. The state reported 77 new cases on Thursday, up slightly from the previous day and in line with two weeks of double-digit daily increases.

Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 8,000 cases and 104 deaths. However, the recent jump in Victoria has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.

02:07 GMT – Colombia tops 100,000 coronavirus cases, posts new daily record

Bogota, Colombia
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Colombia now number 102,009, the health ministry said, 54,941 of which are active. Some 3,470 people have died [File: Fernando Vergara/AP]

Colombia’s confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country’s quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill, Reuters news agency reported.

Confirmed coronavirus cases now number 102,009, the health ministry said, 54,941 of which are active. Some 3,470 people have died.

Wednesday also marked the highest-ever daily increase in confirmed cases with an uptick of 4,163.

The mayor of the country’s capital Bogota said over the weekend the city should prepare for a stricter lockdown as ICUs reached 70 percent capacity, but ruled out tougher measures after the national government turned over hundreds of additional ventilators.

01:44 GMT – China reports five new coronavirus cases in mainland on July 1

China on Thursday reported three new coronavirus cases and two new asymptomatic cases in the mainland for July 1, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

Two of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement, while the capital city of Beijing reported one new case. There were no new deaths.

As of July 1, mainland China had a total of 83,537 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China’s death toll from the coronavirus remained at 4,634.

01:15 GMT – Mexico coronavirus death toll hits 28,510, exceeding Spain

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 5,681 new cases of coronavirus infection and 741 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 231,770 cases and 28,510 deaths.

With the additional deaths, Mexico’s coronavirus toll exceeded Spain’s total number of fatalities from the virus, which on Wednesday was 28,363, according to a Reuters tally.

00:37 GMT – US coronavirus cases rise to almost 50,000 to set new daily record

Coronavirus - US
Since June 4, the US city of Las Vegas has allowed the operation of gambling machines despite the threat of the spread of coronavirus [File: Ethan Miller/ Getty via AFP]

Coronavirus cases in the United States rose by almost 50,000, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic started, according to the latest Reuters tally late on Wednesday.

The number of US COVID-19 infections has surged over the past week, with daily figures setting new records several times in the past week, according to the tally. The United States reported at least 49,286 cases as of the end of Tuesday.

Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have led the increases and were among 14 states that have reported a more than doubling of case numbers during the month of June, according to a Reuters analysis as of the end of Wednesday.

The US has reported at least 2.68 million cases with over 128,000 deaths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday warned any nation that fails to use every mechanism available to combat the still raging novel coronavirus is in for a “long, hard” battle.

00:01 GMT – New Zealand’s health minister Clark resigns

New Zealand’s health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and personal mistakes.

“It has become increasingly clear to me that my continuation in the role is distracting for the government’s overall response to COVID-19 and the global pandemic,” he said in a news conference in parliament.

Clark said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had accepted his resignation.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Read all the updates from yesterday (July 1) here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies