UK coronavirus vaccine shows early promise: Live updates
Oxford University scientists say experimental vaccine prompted protective immune response in first human trial.
Scientists at Oxford University said their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot
Several banks in Hong Kong closed branches or curtailed their working hours on Monday after a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases over the weekend.
US President Donald Trump has insisted that the coronavirus will be brought “under control” even as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 67,574 new cases and at least 877 more deaths in the country.
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ventured out of his official residence, Alvorada Palace, on Sunday to speak and greet his supporters even as he recovers from COVID-19.
The number of deaths from the coronavirus around the world has surpassed 608,300, with the US the worst-affected country. There are more than 14.5 million confirmed cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates.
Monday, July 20
22:06 GMT – US coronavirus deaths, cases, hospitalisations continue to climb
The city of Chicago reimposed some coronavirus restrictions on Monday and the state of Florida reported more than 10,000 new cases for the sixth day in a row, as the coronavirus pandemic raged across the United States.
New York state recorded only eight deaths on Sunday while the total number of people hospitalised for the disease fell to 716, the fewest since March 18, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
But metrics for the country as a whole have grown worse. Thirty-two states have reported record increases in COVID-19 cases in July while 15 states have reported record increases in deaths. Deaths, hospitalisations and rates of positive test results continue to climb with at least 15 states reporting record hospitalisations so far in July, according to a Reuters tally.
Read more here.
21:44 GMT – In his most explicit endorsement of face masks to date, Trump tweets picture of himself wearing one
United States President Donald Trump on Monday for the first time tweeted a picture of himself wearing a mask and said it is the “patriotic” thing to do to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
We are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus, and many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President! pic.twitter.com/iQOd1whktN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2020
Trump has for months resisted wearing a mask in public but managed to do so during a tour of the Walter Reed Hospital two weeks ago. The picture tweeted by the president on Monday was taken during that trip and shows Trump wearing a mask decorated with a presidential seal.
20:25 GMT – Scaled-down hajj pilgrimage to start July 29: Saudi authorities
This year’s hajj, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims due to the coronavirus pandemic, will begin on July 29, Saudi authorities said Monday.
“The stand of pilgrims on Mount Arafat, the peak of the hajj ritual, falls on Thursday,” the official Saudi Press Agency cited the Supreme Court as saying, indicating that Wednesday would be the first day of the annual event.
19:35 GMT – New York cautiously reopens as coronavirus surges elsewhere in US
New York state reported the fewest hospitalisations from the coronavirus in four months on Monday just as New York City entered a new phase of reopening, but the progress was eclipsed by the rapid spread of COVID-19 elsewhere in the United States.
The state recorded eight deaths on Sunday while the total number of people hospitalised for the disease fell to 716, the fewest since March 18, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Cuomo called the figures “good news,” although a Reuters analysis of data from the COVID Tracking Project showed cases rose to more than 5,000 in the past week for the first time since April, breaking a 13-week streak of declines.
Read more here.
19:00 GMT – Spain’s coronavirus rate triples in three weeks after lockdown easing
The prevalence of coronavirus in Spain has risen three-fold over the last three weeks as authorities struggle to contain a rash of fresh clusters, mainly in the Catalonia and Aragon regions, Health Ministry data showed on Monday.
After registering thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths per day during an early April peak, Spain succeeded in slowing the number of new infections to a trickle.
But since restrictions on movement were lifted and Spaniards relaxed back into daily life, some 201 new clusters have appeared, with heavy concentrations in and around the Catalan cities of Barcelona and Lleida.
The occurrence of the novel coronavirus has jumped from eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants at the end of June, when the country’s state of emergency ended, to 27 per 100,000, deputy health emergency chief Maria Sierra told a news conference on Monday.
“Where measures have been relaxed is where these clusters appear,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said. “We’re talking about gatherings of extended family and spaces associated with nightlife.”
18:00 GMT – Trump says will resume coronavirus briefings
President Donald Trump said he will resume the White House briefings on the global coronavirus pandemic this week.
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with Republican leaders on additional stimulus measures, the president said the COVID-19 crisis is “flaring up all over the place” again, not just in the United States.
“I do want people to understand this is a worldwide problem caused by China, but it’s a worldwide problem. Countries are going through hell,” he said.
Still, Trump sounded an optimistic tone regarding the progress being made on potential vaccines and therapeutics, saying companies like Johnson & Johnson and others are getting close on both.
Trump said he feels “pretty damn certain that they’re going to have the vaccine, they’re going to have therapeutics, and it’s going to start taking place very shortly.”
17:10 GMT – WHO ‘very concerned’ as COVID-19 spread speeds up in Africa
African countries need urgent help to build up their health systems as coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official warned.
Although the number of cases in several countries is still low, the rate of increase has been very high last week, WHO emergency operations chief Mike Ryan said.
“I am very concerned right now that we are beginning to see an acceleration of disease in Africa, and we need to take that very seriously,” Ryan told a press briefing from Geneva. “Many of those countries exist in the midst of fragility and conflict.”
With more than 360,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 5,000 related deaths, South Africa has been hit the hardest and accounts for 61 per cent of Africa’s pandemic burden.
“South Africa may unfortunately be a precursor,” he said. “It may be a warning for what will happen in the rest of Africa.”
16:30 GMT – Bahamas introduces restrictions as cases rise
Bahamas will shut its borders to international flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers, the country’s prime minister said.
Flights from the UK, Canada and EU countries are exempted, Hubert Minnis said. The restrictions will come into effect on Wednesday.
Bahamas has reported 153 cases and 11 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
15:45 GMT – Indigenous people especially at risk from coronavirus, warns WHO
Indigenous communities comprising half a million people around the world are especially vulnerable to the new coronavirus pandemic due to often poor living conditions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.
Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that as of July 6, there were more than 70,000 cases reported among indigenous peoples in the Americas, with over 2,000 deaths.
“We do not have to wait for a vaccine. We have to save lives now,” he told a virtual briefing from the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva.
15:05 GMT – Denmark to allow sailors stranded at sea to come ashore
Denmark said it will allow merchant sailors stranded on the high seas since the outbreak of the coronavirus to come ashore and be reunited with their friends and families.
Since the outbreak of the virus, 200,000 seafarers have been stranded on merchant ships, some for more than a year, because travel restrictions have made it almost impossible to rotate crews.
“While many Danes have used the corona crisis to spend more time with the family, many Danish sailors have had to do without family and friends for much longer than usual,” Business Minister Simon Kollerup said.
14:00 GMT – UK coronavirus vaccine shows promise
Scientists at Oxford University say their experimental coronavirus vaccine has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.
British researchers first began testing the vaccine in April in about 1,000 people, half of whom got the experimental vaccine. Such early trials are usually designed only to evaluate safety, but in this case experts were also looking to see what kind of immune response was provoked.
In research published Monday in the journal Lancet, scientists said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.
“We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody,” said Dr. Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. “What this vaccine does particularly well is trigger both arms of the immune system,” he said.
13:40 GMT – Ballon d’Or 2020 scrapped because of COVID-19
The Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year for the first time in its 64-year history after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the football calendar, organisers France Football magazine said.
The prestigious award, voted for by journalists, is an annual prize given to the best male footballer in the world since 1956. The women’s Ballon d’Or was first awarded in 2018.
The 2019-20 season has been ravaged by the pandemic, with all the major European leagues suspending matches from March to June.
International tournaments, such as the European Championship and Copa America, were also pushed back to 2021 due to the virus.
13:15 GMT –
Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha taking over from my colleague Farah Najjar.
12:12 GMT – Russia says hoping to produce 200m vaccine doses this year
Russia hopes to complete trials of a vaccine in August and produce 200 million doses with foreign partners by the end of the year, the head of its sovereign wealth fund has said.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which manages some $10bn, is working with a government research institute on one of several vaccine projects in the country.
RDIF chief executive Kirill Dmitriev said he hoped the project would receive permission next month to begin production, after the first phase of a vaccine trial was completed last week.
“Immediately after that we are planning to begin mass production,” Dmitriev said in a statement on Russia’s state anti-coronavirus portal.
“Mass production of this vaccine can stop the pandemic’s potential ‘second wave’,” he said, adding that Russia would be in a position to produce 30 million doses of the vaccine by year’s end, with “international partners across the world” joining in to bring the total to 200 million.
Will wearing a face mask prevent the spread of #coronavirus? @DrAmirKhanGP answers.
Read more on #AJDoctorsNote 👉 https://t.co/rkne6ZTb80 pic.twitter.com/gabBtHp5KS
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 20, 2020
11:58 GMT – Greece tightens rules for foreign seasonal workers
Greece introduced stricter rules for foreign seasonal workers after a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Balkans.
Last year, more than 10,000 seasonal workers, mainly from Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia, were employed in Greece’s agricultural sector.
“Land workers that exit the country before August 4 will not be able to return until further notice,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told a news briefing.
Seasonal workers were permitted into the country in early May under a three-month special licence.
Petsas added that land entry to Greece will be allowed only via six northern border crossings to better control imported COVID-19 cases.
10:45 GMT – UK PM Johnson: We’re not there yet on COVID-19 vaccine
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he could not promise there would be a successful vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the end of this year, saying “we’re not there yet” even as Britain lines up supplies.
“To say that I’m 100 percent confident that we’ll get a vaccine, this year or indeed next year, is alas, just an exaggeration. We’re not there yet,” Johnson said after Britain announced supply deals for two more vaccines under development
10:33 GMT – Cinemas in China begin to reopen after six-month closure
Some cinemas in Chinese cities from Shanghai to Chengdu reopened after a six-month closure, raising hope that the world’s second-largest movie market can start to recover from painful losses during the pandemic.
Chinese authorities last week said they would allow cinemas in low-risk areas to resume operations in a restricted fashion, a long-awaited piece of news for a leisure industry that has seen many other venues revive recently.
But many cities kept their cinemas shut on Monday as Beijing said they would leave the final decision on whether to open up to local authorities.
09:54 GMT – UK buying 90 million coronavirus vaccine doses
British officials say they have signed a deal to buy 90 million doses of experimental coronavirus vaccines being developed by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and others.
The British government said in a statement that it had secured access to a vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, in addition to another experimental vaccine researched by Valneva.
Britain had previously signed a deal with AstraZeneca to provide 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine being tested by Oxford University, which is expected to announce further results later on Monday.
“Millions of people could be vaccinated against coronavirus,” the government statement said, citing the three different vaccines it has now invested in.
09:42 GMT – Indonesia reports second-highest daily increase in deaths
Indonesia reported its second-highest daily increase in coronavirus-related deaths with 96 fatalities, a day after registering a record daily jump in deaths, data presented by health ministry official Achmad Yurianto showed.
The country also reported 1,693 new infections, taking the total to 88,214, the highest number in East or Southeast Asia, with a total of 4,239 deaths.
08:58 GMT – Hong Kong reports 73 new cases as local transmissions stay high
Hong Kong reported 73 new cases, including 66 that were locally transmitted, as new restrictions took effect and authorities warned there was no indication that the situation was coming under control.
The global financial hub reported more than 100 cases on Sunday, a record number as Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced that non-essential civil servants must work from home.
08:44 GMT – Philippines reports 4 new deaths, 1,521 more infections
The Philippines’ health ministry confirmed four new coronavirus deaths and 1,521 new cases, its fifth straight day of reporting over a thousand infections.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have increased to 1,835 while confirmed cases have reached 69,898.
08:38 GMT – France says up to 500 virus clusters but no ‘second wave’ yet
French authorities have reported 400 to 500 active coronavirus outbreak clusters but there are no signs of an imminent “second wave,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said.
Many of the current virus clusters involve abattoirs or other contained professional settings such as old age homes, he said.
Others had resulted from family reunions during the summer holidays.
“At this point we are very far from a second wave,” Veran told Franceinfo radio, as face masks were made mandatory in all enclosed public spaces including shops, covered markets and administrative buildings.
“The goal is not to worry people excessively, but to keep them on their guard,” he said.
People think flying won’t recover until at least 2023, maybe longer.
Is it safe to fly now? And has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we fly forever?@SandraGathmann looks into the future of flight on #AJStartHere. pic.twitter.com/ldXfreBBgL
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 19, 2020
08:01 GMT – Russia reports almost 6,000 new infections
Russia reported 5,940 new cases, pushing its total infection tally to 777,486, the fourth largest in the world.
In a daily readout, officials said 85 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 12,427.
07:43 GMT – Synairgen’s drug shows reduced risk of severe disease in COVID-19 patients
Synairgen Plc said its drug helped reduce the risk of developing severe diseases in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, according to data from a trial of more than 100 people in the United Kingdom.
The trial, which used interferon beta, showed that patients who were given Synairgen’s formulation had a 79 percent lower risk of developing severe disease compared to a placebo.
Patients who received the drug, SNG001, were more than twice as likely to recover from COVID-19 as those on a placebo, the company said.
07:21 GMT – 14 died from likely COVID-19 complications in Egyptian prisons: HRW
At least 14 prisoners have died from likely COVID-19 complications in scantly-monitored outbreaks of the disease at Egyptian detention centres, Human Rights Watch has said.
“At least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from Covid-19 complications, in 10 detention facilities as of July 15,” the rights groups said in a statement.
HRW based its report on witness accounts, leaked letters from prisons and reports by local rights groups.
“Prisons had insufficient medical care and virtually no access to testing for the virus or symptom screening,” it said.
HRW noted that Egypt had released some 13,000 prisoners since February, but this was “insufficient to ease overcrowding in congested prisons and jails”.
07:05 GMT – India reports 40,000 new cases, a record daily surge in infections
India reported 40,425 new cases of the coronavirus, a record high for the country. The new infections raised the country’s total number of cases to 1,118,043, including 27,497 deaths.
The ministry said late on Sunday that India’s coronavirus fatality rate – currently at 2.49 percent – is “progressively falling” due to an effective containment strategy and aggressive testing.
A country of 1.4 billion people, India has been conducting nearly 10,000 tests per million people. More than 300,000 samples are being tested daily now, compared to just a few hundred in March, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research, India’s top medical research body.
With a surge in infections in the past few weeks, local governments in India have been ordering focused lockdowns in high-risk areas.
India surges past one million #coronavirus cases, becoming the third country in the world to reach this grim milestone. pic.twitter.com/HeNzj3BQ1K
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) July 20, 2020
07:01 GMT – Number of active cases in Pakistan continue to drop
Active cases of the coronavirus continue to drop in Pakistan, where the government says it is testing fewer people because there has been a drop in the number of patients seeking treatment for COVID-19.
On Sunday, at least 1,587 new cases of the virus were registered, taking the country’s overall tally to 265,083 since its outbreak began in late February. Active cases, however, fell by 97, as the case increase was offset by recoveries. Active cases are now at 53,465, their lowest level since June 3.
At least 31 deaths took the death toll to 5,689 on Sunday, the data showed.
Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.
05:02 GMT – Malaysian PM to give update on COVID-19 situation
Perutusan khas oleh PM @MuhyiddinYassin hari ini jam 1600hrs. Kerajaan khuatir dengan bilangan kes jangkitan COVID-19 sejak beberapa hari yang lepas. pic.twitter.com/lX8EtChimX
— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) July 20, 2020
Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is expected to address the nation on Monday at 08:00 GMT to give an update on the country’s coronavirus situation, according to one of his ministers.
On Sunday, the country reported 15 new cases including four from abroad, and one death.
More than 97 percent of COVID-19 patients in Malaysia have recovered.
04:39 GMT – Hong Kong banks shutter branches again new infections
HSBC, Standard Chartered and other banks in Hong Kong closed branches or curtailed their working hours on Monday after a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases in the Asian financial hub, according to Reuters news agency.
Hong Kong recorded more than 100 cases in 24 hours over the weekend, the most since the pandemic began in late January. The rise in cases took the tally close to 2,000 patients, 12 of whom have died.
04:03 GMT – US state of Kentucky hits daily record of new cases
A daily record of nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases has been reported in the US state of Kentucky, a spike that the governor said should be a “wake-up call” for the state’s citizens to abide by mask and social distancing restrictions, according to AP news agency.
Democratic Governor Andy Beshear announced in a news release there were 979 new cases reported on Sunday, including 30 involving children five-year-old or younger.
The state has reported more than 23,000 cases and almost 700 deaths so far.
03:38 GMT – Cyprus raises concerns over spread of infection by migrants
Cyprus’s health minister says there is concern that coronavirus-infected migrants could be seeping through the ethnically divided island nation’s porous ceasefire line, The Associated Press news agency reported.
Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Sunday pointed to “a problem” after a number of migrants who recently crossed from the breakaway north to seek asylum in the internationally recognised south have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Ioannou said the government had ordered two months ago that all migrants undergo testing for the virus before they enter reception centres for processing.
At least eight Syrian migrants who crossed southward in the last week tested positive for the virus.
03:16 GMT – Majority of Japanese reject gov’t tourism campaign
Most people in Japan are against government plans to kick-start domestic tourism with a subsidised campaign, according to newspaper surveys published on Monday, as fears grow over the number of new coronavirus cases, particularly in Tokyo, according to Reuters news agency.
The results highlight growing concerns that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s $16bn “Go To” campaign, set to begin on Wednesday, could spread the virus to rural parts of the country where medical systems are fragile.
Broadcaster NHK said more than 500 new cases were reported nationally on Sunday, of which 188 were in Tokyo – down by about 100 from the previous day but still well above levels seen when Abe’s government in late May called an end to a state of emergency it had imposed to contain the virus.
02:58 GMT – More cases reported in China’s Xinjiang
Numbers of coronavirus cases in Xinjiang’s city of Urumqi continue to rise, with another 17 reported on Monday, bringing the total in China’s latest outbreak to at least 47.
Another five cases were brought from outside the country, the National Health Commission said.
So far 83,682 cases, including 4,634 deaths, have been recorded.
China had largely contained local transmission of the virus before the Urumqi outbreak and has taken swift action including a lockdown to bring it under control.
02:40 GMT – Germany’s confirmed cases rise by 249
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 249 to 201,823, Reuters news agency reported on Monday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The reported death toll rose by two to 9,086, the tally showed.
02:05 GMT – Despite COVID-19 infection, Bolsonaro greets supporters
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ventured out of his official residence, Alvorada Palace, on Sunday to greet his supporters even as he recovers from COVID-19.
Bolsonaro, who announced he tested positive for coronavirus on July 7, stepped out onto the grounds of official resident, walked towards a group of supporters, and spoke with them for about an hour.
Wearing a mask, Bolsonaro said he is feeling well and again credited his health to the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, despite no scientific evidence.
01:50 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state reports 275 new cases
Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria on Monday recorded one death from the new coronavirus and 275 new cases compared with 363 a day earlier, according to Reuters news agency.
A woman in her 80s died from the virus overnight, Premier Daniel Andrews said in a briefing in Melbourne, taking the national death toll to 123.
Coronavirus cases have spiked in Victoria in July, mostly in Melbourne, prompting authorities to ask residents to wear face masks when they step outside their houses or risk fines of 200 Australian dollars ($140) for not complying.
01:30 GMT – Imported cases still rising in South Korea
South Korea’s imported coronavirus cases continue to rise by double-digit figures, according to the latest figures on Monday, even as new daily cases fell below 30 for the first time in more than three weeks.
The country identified 26 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,771, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, just four were local infections, and 22 were imported.
The country has seen double-digit numbers of imported cases for 25 consecutive days as of Monday, according to Yonhap news agency. One additional death was also reported, bringing the total death toll to 296.
01:00 GMT – El Salvador postpones economic reopening
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has announced that he will postpone the second phase of the country’s economic reopening, slated to begin on Tuesday, after evaluating inputs from experts and the Salvadoran health ministry, Reuters reported.
“After listening to the opinions of experts and above all, the Ministry of Health … I have decided to suspend Phase 2 of the economic reopening,” Bukele wrote in a social media post on Sunday.
El Salvador has registered a total of 11,846 coronavirus cases and 335 deaths.
00:30 GMT – Mexico reports 5,311 new cases, 296 more deaths
Mexico’s health ministry reported 5,311 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 296 additional deaths, bringing the total in the country to 344,224 cases, including 39,184 deaths, according to Reuters.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
00:12 GMT – Florida adds 12,000 new cases
The US state of Florida reported more than 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fifth day in a row the state has recorded more than 10,000 new infections, even as President Donald Trump pledged that “it’s going to be under control”.
The virus has killed more than 140,000 people since the pandemic started, and Florida, California, and other Southern and Western states are creating new records every day, according to Reuters.
“We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it’s – it’s going to be under control,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News television channel.
00:01 GMT – Golf legend Jack Nicklaus reveals he had COVID-19
US golf legend Jack Nicklaus has revealed that he and his wife Barbara tested positive for the coronavirus at the onset of the pandemic, AP reported. They turned 80 a month apart at the start of the year.
He said his wife had no COVID-19 symptoms, while he had a sore throat and a cough. Nicklaus said they were home in Florida from March 13 “until we were done with it” on about April 20.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 19, here.