If confirmed, it would be the first officially recognised case of COVID-19 in North Korea.
- Florida has overtaken New York in the number of coronavirus cases, according to the latest figures from the health department in the southeastern United States state.
- Vietnam is again on high alert for the coronavirus after medical officials detected the country’s first few locally transmitted cases in three months.
- Australia recorded its highest-ever daily tally of deaths from the novel coronavirus, all in Victoria as authorities in the state battled scores of clusters of infection.
- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the public should remain extremely vigilant as the country nears a total of 1.4 million infections, with almost 50,000 cases reported in the past 24 hours.
- The number of coronavirus infections has hit 16 million worldwide, while more than 646,800 people have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 9.3 million patients have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, July 26
23:06 GMT – China expands state jobs for graduates as coronavirus hits private sector
China’s thousands of state-owned enterprises, local governments, and public institutions are expanding hiring as a record number of students graduate into a job market left reeling by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Reuters news agency.
Around 8.7 million Chinese students are graduating this year, almost half a million more than in 2019, heading into an uncertain future as private firms rein in recruitment.
Job stability for the young is a long-standing political concern in China. President Xi Jinping, who has previously warned that struggling graduates could “turn into negative energy”, is urging more hiring.
Graduates, who generally enter the workforce in June or July, face a “severe” situation, officials have said. Available positions for them in the recent pre-graduation spring recruiting season fell by 22 percent on year, according to research from BOSS Zhipin.
While China’s gross domestic product bounced back into growth in the second quarter, surveyed unemployment of graduates aged 20-24 was more than three times the rate for the broader population, rising to 19.3 percent in June, 2.1 percentage points higher than May.
20:30 GMT – Young adults majority of new virus cases in Canada
Canadians under the age of 39 make up a clear majority of new cases of COVID-19 in Canada, health authorities said, warning young adults they are not “invincible” against the disease.
“Recent national surveillance data show that young adults aged 20-39 years of age account for the highest incidence rates across all ages in Canada,” Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said in a statement.
For the week ending July 22, the incidence rate was highest among young men and women aged 20-29 (14.4 and 13.8 cases per 100,000 people respectively), followed by those aged 30-39.
“Younger Canadians are not invincible” to the disease, Tam warned, noting that it is not only the elderly who are at risk of serious health problems if infected.
She pointed out that, of the cases of COVID-19 reported to the public health department last week, 63 percent involved people under 39 years of age, of whom roughly one-third were hospitalised.
19:40 GMT – White House pushes narrow virus aid, Pelosi blasts GOP delay
United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday assailed Republican “disarray” over a new pandemic relief package as the White House suggested a narrower effort might be necessary, at least for now.
The California Democrat panned the desire of the administration of US President Donald Trump to trim an expiring temporary federal unemployment benefit from $600 weekly to about 70 percent of pre-pandemic wages. “The reason we had $600 was its simplicity,” she said from the Capitol.
The administration’s chief negotiators – White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin – were returning to the Capitol later Sunday to put what Meadows described as “final touches” on a $1 trillion relief bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to bring forward Monday.
“We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues,” Mnuchin said. “We’ve moved quickly before … If there are issues that take longer, we’ll deal with those as well.”
18:45 GMT – Moderna gets further $472m US award for virus vaccine development
Moderna Inc said on Sunday that it has received an additional $472m from the United States government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to support development of its novel coronavirus vaccine.
The US-based drugmaker said the additional funding will support its late-stage clinical development including the expanded Phase 3 study of Moderna’s vaccine candidate.
“Encouraged by the Phase 1 data, we believe that our mRNA vaccine may aid in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and preventing future outbreaks,” Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel said in a press release.
17:50 GMT – India repatriates 814,000 citizens stranded abroad
The Indian government has repatriated 814,000 citizens stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic since May, the country’s civil aviation minister said.
“More than 814K stranded Indians have returned through various means under VBM [Vande Bharat Mission] since 6 May 2020, out of which more than 270K returned on flights from 53 countries.” Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter.
In May, New Delhi launched an operation dubbed Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate citizens stranded in many countries due to COVID-19 restrictions.
17:05 GMT – Florida overtakes New York in coronavirus cases
Florida has overtaken New York in the number of coronavirus cases, according to the latest figures from the health department in the southeastern United States state.
The Sunshine State has reported 423,855 total cases, up 12,180 in the last 24 hours. New York, once the epicentre of the US outbreak, has 411,200 total, seeing just hundreds of daily new infections.
California, with a population of nearly 40 million, about twice that of Florida, is now the worst-hit US state, nearing 450,000 cases.
16:45 GMT – Mexico state health minister dies after being hospitalised for COVID-19
The health minister of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Dr Jesus Grajeda, has died, Chihuahua’s governor said on Sunday, nearly two weeks after Grajeda was hospitalised with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“I have no words to express all my feelings in this moment, except for profound sadness,” Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral wrote on Facebook on Sunday morning, saying Grajeda had died of heart failure.
With more than 385,000 confirmed cases and nearly 43,500 deaths as of Saturday, Mexico has the world’s fourth-highest death toll from the coronavirus.
16:10 GMT – Latin America leads world in coronavirus cases, Reuters tally shows
Coronavirus cases in Latin America for the first time have surpassed the combined infections in the United States and Canada, a Reuters tally showed on Sunday, amid a surge of infections in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
The quickly growing number of cases makes Latin America the region most impacted by the pandemic globally, with 26.83 percent of worldwide cases.
Latin America now has 4,327,160 total cases of the novel coronavirus compared to 4,308,495 infections in the US and Canada, according to the count based on data provided by the governments of each country.
15:35 GMT – Florida records 9,300 new cases, blows past New York
Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York, the worst-hit state at the start of the United States novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a Reuters tally.
Total COVID-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. New York is in third place with 415,827 cases.
Still, New York has recorded the most deaths of any US state at more than 32,000, with Florida in eighth place with nearly 6,000 deaths.
15:03 GMT – Taiwan resumes ocean cruise amid pandemic
Taiwan resumed an island-hopping ocean cruise on Sunday, joining a handful of places in the world to restart voyages after the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a virtual standstill.
Some 900 holidaymakers are adapting to new safety measures when boarding Genting Hong Kong’s Explorer Dream, embarking from Taiwan’s northern Keelung port. The company now offers trips of up to five days from Taiwan to its scenic outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.
The cruise resumption is part of a government effort to boost a tourism industry badly hit by the pandemic. Taiwan has largely closed its borders since mid-March and advised citizens against overseas travel unless absolutely necessary.
14:31 GMT – Tanzania’s former President Benjamin Mkapa had malaria, not virus, says family
Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa was suffering from malaria and died of a heart attack, his family said Sunday, scotching rumours that he succumbed to coronavirus.
“Mkapa was found with malaria and he was admitted for treatment since Wednesday,” family member William Erio revealed during a funeral mass broadcast on state television TBC1.
Mkapa, who ruled the East African country for two terms from 1995 to 2005, died early Friday aged 81 in a Dar es Salaam hospital, but the government did not reveal the cause of his death.
“He was feeling better on Thursday and I was with him until 8pm that day,” Erio said.
14:00 GMT – Republican US coronavirus relief bill to be unveiled Monday: Mnuchin
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Republican coronavirus relief legislation will be made public on Monday and that he believes the party can move quickly with Democrats to hammer out their differences.
The most pressing issues are enhanced unemployment benefits that run out next week and liability protections from coronavirus-related lawsuits, Mnuchin said.
“We can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We’ve moved quickly before, and I see no reason why we can’t move quickly again,” Mnuchin said on the Fox News Sunday programme.
13:30 GMT – Europe’s biggest holiday company cancels all trips to mainland Spain
TUI, Europe’s biggest holiday company, said on Sunday that it had decided to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday August 9 on updated advice after the United Kingdom imposed a quarantine on those returning from the country.
“TUI UK have taken the decision to cancel all holidays to mainland Spain up to and including Sunday 9th August 2020,” it said in a statement.
“We know how much our customers look forward to their holiday abroad and some will be able to accommodate the new quarantine restrictions. Therefore all those that wish to travel to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands will be able to travel as planned from Monday 27th July.”
13:10 GMT –
Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha taking over from my colleague Usaid Siddiqui.
12:50 GMT – Hurricane Hanna lashes Texas as US state faces coronavirus crisis
Hurricane Hanna has pummelled the southern coast of Texas in the United States overnight with howling winds and a surging sea that threatens a broad area already contending with a spike in coronavirus cases.
Hanna, the first hurricane in the 2020 Atlantic storm season, has forced authorities to arrange shelters and evacuation for people while also maintaining physical distancing protocols and other pandemic restrictions.
Read more here.
12:35 GMT – Madrid insists coronavirus is ‘under control’ in Spain
The Spanish government said that in spite of the recent surge in coronavirus cases, the situation there is “under control”.
The statement comes in response to countries that have recently announced travel restrictions on Spain.
Passengers travelling from Spain to the United Kingdom will have to undergo a fortnight in isolation while Norway imposed restrictions on travel to Spain.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex “strongly recommended” Friday that the French avoid going to Catalonia, a region in northeastern Spain where the epidemic is particularly on the rise.
12:10 GMT – Vietnam reports two more locally transmitted coronavirus cases
Vietnam reported two more locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 420.
The new cases include a 17-year-old boy in the central province of Quang Ngai and a 71-year-old woman in Da Nang city, the government said in a statement. There have been no deaths from COVID-19.
11:40 GMT – South Korea baseball fans finally return to stands
South Korean baseball games reopened to fans as health authorities outlined a phased process to bring back spectators in professional sports amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
Both baseball and football teams are now allowed to sell up to 10 percent of the seats for each game as officials plan to control the level of attendance based on the progress of anti-virus efforts.
Following the guidelines, fans were screened for fevers upon entering the stadium and required to sit a safe distance during a baseball match between LG Twins and Doosan Bears in Seoul.
11:05 GMT – Modi warns of rapid coronavirus spread as caseload nears 1,400,000
The novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly in several parts of India and the public should remain extremely
vigilant, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
“We must understand that the virus is as deadly today as it was at the beginning and we need to be even more careful,” Modi said during his monthly radio address.
He advised people to continue wearing masks, washing their hands and upholding social-distancing and hygiene rules, referring to the measures as “our weapons to fight the virus”. India’s Health Ministry reported 48,661 new infections and 705 deaths on Saturday.
10:12 GMT – Madagascar opens new coronavirus treatment centre
Madagascar has launched a new coronavirus treatment centre amid rising infections and hospitals being overwhelmed, the president said.
In a series of tweets, Andry Rajoelina said the Mahamasina treatment centre in the capital Antananarivo can accommodate 250 COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.
“In these difficult times, I call on the nation to show unity and solidarity in the fight against the epidemic,” Rajoelina said.
09:50 GMT – Virus outbreak on German farm leaves almost 500 locked down
Almost 500 people have been confined to a farm in southern Germany after a new coronavirus outbreak prompted authorities to lay down quarantine, local officials say.
So far, 174 harvest workers have been discovered to be infected with the coronavirus, which can lead to a case of the potentially deadly disease COVID-19.
A security service has been hired to make sure no one leaves, said officials from the Dingolfing-Landau region late on Saturday.
09:33 GMT – UK foreign secretary defends quarantine measures
The UK’s foreign secretary defended the government’s decision to immediately impose COVID-19 quarantine measures on UK travellers returning from Spain, saying it was not possible to give them more notice.
Dominic Raab told Sky News that vague advice would have created more uncertainty. He said the government must be able to take quick action to fight the virus.
Read more here.
09:04 GMT – Tokyo confirms 239 new COVID-19 cases
Tokyo officials confirmed 239 new coronavirus infections, Japanese media reported, as the capital struggles with a resurgence in cases after the government lifted a state of emergency.
The total marks the sixth straight day new cases in the city have exceeded 200.
While Japan was spared the kind of surge in infections that have killed tens of thousands in other countries, Tokyo has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level after a series of new cases.
08:40 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,492 new cases, 67 deaths
Indonesia reported 1,492 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total tally to 98,778, data from the country’s Health Ministry website showed.
The number of deaths in the Southeast Asian nation related to COVID-19 rose by 67, bringing the total to 4,781, the data showed.
08:16 GMT – UK gov’t ‘shambolic’ on making Spanish quarantine decision: Labour
The way the government decided to impose a quarantine on those people travelling from Spain to the UK was “shambolic”, the health policy chief for the main opposition Labour Party said on Sunday.
“I can understand why the government have made this decision … but of course, the way in which this decision has been made in the last 24 hours is frankly shambolic,” Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News, saying the government had given those Britons holidaying in Spain no time to plan for quarantine by bringing in the new rule with little notice.
07:52 GMT – Russia reports 5,765 new cases in 24 hours
Russia reported 5,765 new coronavirus cases and 77 more deaths, a steep decline from the 146 deaths reported a day earlier.
The nationwide tally of infections has risen to 812,485, Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said.
07:31 GMT – Brazil reports more than 1,200 deaths
Brazil reported 1,211 deaths from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, according to its Health Ministry.
The South American nation, one of the worst-hit countries in the world, has so far registered 86,449 deaths.
07:07 GMT – South Africa reports about 12,000 new cases
South Africa has announced more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases as the total in one of the world’s worst-affected countries reaches 434,200 with 6,655 deaths.
South Africa makes up well over half the confirmed cases on the African continent, where experts say the virus could smoulder in areas poorly served by health services.
Africa now has more than 828,000 cases. The true number of cases on the continent of 1.3 billion people is unknown because of testing shortages and insufficient data.
06:42 GMT – Israel arrests protestors demonstrating against pandemic policy
The Israeli police arrested 12 people and used water cannon before dawn on Sunday to disperse furious protesters against government coronavirus policies in Jerusalem, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against joblessness, corruption, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.
06:01 GMT – Vietnam reimposes restrictions after first locally transmitted cases
Vietnam reimposed restrictions in one of its most popular beach destinations after a second person tested positive for COVID-19, the first locally transmitted cases in the country in more than three months.
Da Nang authorities in central Vietnam banned gatherings of more than 30 people in public places as well as all sport, cultural and religious events in the city of 1.1 million. Theme parks, beauty salons, bars and clubs were also ordered shut.
Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.
05:08 GMT – UK tourists in Spain ‘panicking’ over quarantine order
British tourists flying home on Sunday after a holiday in Spain angrily reacted to an abrupt decision by their government to make everyone arriving from the Mediterranean country spend 14 days in quarantine.
The UK’s decision late on Saturday to take Spain off a safe-travel list over a rise in coronavirus cases took effect from midnight (23:00 GMT on Saturday), leaving travellers with no time to dodge it, and with major concerns about their returns, tourists at Madrid’s Barajas airport said.
Spain was one of the worst-hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 290,000 cases and more than 28,000 deaths. It imposed very strict lockdown measures to contain the spread, gradually easing them earlier in the summer.
04:25 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state records 10 deaths overnight
Australia’s Victoria state has recorded 10 deaths overnight from COVID-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing surge in coronavirus cases.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said the victims included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest COVID-19 victims in Australia.
There were 459 new infections, the 21st straight day of triple-figure increases.
The deaths bring Victoria’s toll to 71 and Australia’s national tally to 155. A total of 228 people are hospitalised in Victoria, 42 in intensive care. Australia has recorded more than 14,400 cases.
04:05 GMT – Italian city slaps $1,150 fines on mask rule violators
Failure to wear a mask inside stores in the southern city of Salerno has proven costly to many, the AP news agency reported.
Three people in the port city in the Campania region received 1,000-euro ($1,150) fines on Saturday, the Corriere della Sera reported.
Campania Governor Vincenzo De Luca signed an ordinance on Friday, provisioning for fines of up to 1,000 euros for not wearing masks in closed public places. Similar fines were handed out on the tourist island of Ischia, in three cafes and in a restaurant, also in the Campania region.
Campania accounted for 21 of Italy’s 275 new virus cases on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health. Five deaths were reported in the nation of 60 million since Friday, raising its COVID-19 death toll to 35,102.
03:50 GMT – Greece reports 31 new COVID-19 cases
Greek authorities have announced 31 new cases in the last 24 hours, with eight from arrivals from abroad. There were no reported deaths, AP news agency reported.
This developed as authorities announced that visitors from Bulgaria and Romania will need to present a negative test for the virus, taken over the 72 hours preceding their arrival. This measure will go into effect Tuesday.
Greece’s health minister Vassilis Kikilias says eventual vaccination against the coronavirus will not be mandatory, but “strongly recommended”.
Total confirmed cases in Greece stand at 4,166, with 201 deaths.
03:30 GMT – South Korea COVID-19 cases down as imported infections fall
South Korea’s new coronavirus cases dropped to below 60 on Sunday, a day after the country recorded its highest figure in nearly four months due to a surge in infections among people arriving from abroad, Yonhap news agency reported.
The country added 58 new cases, including 46 from abroad, bringing the total to 14,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The number of new infections was down 55 from Saturday, when the country’s new cases surged to 113, including 86 cases from South Korean workers’ returning home from Iraq and Russian sailors. It marked the first time since April 1 for the country to report more than 100 cases.
There were no additional deaths, keeping the total death toll at 298.
03:19 GMT – Germany’s confirmed cases rise to 205,269
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 305 to 205,269, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The reported death toll was unchanged with 9,118, the tally showed.
02:43 GMT – France expands free COVID-19 testing as infection rates rise
French health authorities are making COVID-19 tests available free of charge without prescription as they closely monitor an uptick in infections after the lifting of lockdown measures, Reuters reported on Sunday.
PCR nasal swab tests, which detect COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus, will be freely available on demand under government orders published on Saturday.
France has recorded 30,192 deaths attributed to the coronavirus, among a total of 180,528 cases of the disease, according to statistics published on Friday.
02:30 GMT – Lebanon reports highest daily count of cases
Lebanon has reported 175 coronavirus cases – the highest daily count – bringing the total to more than 3,500, according to the AP news agency.
Lebanese officials warn of a spike in infections following the easing of restrictions after the country’s only airport opened on July 1. Government officials have urged people to observe physical distancing and wear masks.
The country of about five million has 47 confirmed deaths and 3,582 reported cases. The government is considering reintroducing restrictions, including closing gyms and nightclubs, which reopened for business after the country relaxed its lockdown.
02:09 GMT – Costa Rica registers record 931 new cases and 11 deaths
Costa Rica’s Health Ministry has reported a record 931 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, both single-day highs for the small Central American nation where 72 percent of all its confirmed cases have been registered since the beginning of this month.
In total, Costa Rican authorities have reported 14,600 cases and 98 deaths in the country of five million people, according to Reuters.
Despite the increase in cases, hotels are operational and the government has announced European, British, and Canadian tourists will be allowed to enter the country beginning August 1.
01:40 GMT – Mainland China reports 46 new cases, 22 in Xinjiang
China reported 46 cases of the new coronavirus in the mainland for July 25, up from 34 cases a day earlier, Reuters reported on Sunday, quoting the country’s health commission.
Of the new infections, 22 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases.
China reported two new asymptomatic cases, down from 74 a day earlier.
As of the end of Saturday, mainland China had 83,830 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
01:04 GMT – North Korea’s Kaesong placed under lockdown
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown over coronavirus concerns and declared a state of emergency to contain a potential outbreak, the AP reported on Sunday quoting North Korea’s state media.
The “maximum emergency system” was implemented after a person was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms in the city, the Korean Central News Agency said. It said the person is a runaway who had fled to South Korea years ago before illegally crossing the border into the North early last week.
If that person is officially declared a virus patient, he or she would be the North’s first confirmed coronavirus case. North Korea has steadfastly said it has no single virus case on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts.
01:00 GMT – Mexico reports 6,751 new cases, 729 deaths
Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 729 additional deaths, bringing the total in the country to 385,036 cases and 43,374 total deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, according to Reuters.
00:29 GMT – Brazil registers 1,211 coronavirus deaths
Brazil registered an additional 1,211 deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and another 51,147 confirmed cases, Reuters news agency reported quoting the health ministry.
The South American nation has now registered 86,449 deaths and 2,394,513 total cases as of the end of Saturday.
00:16 GMT – Israelis protest against Netanyahu’s handling of pandemic
Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Jerusalem to denounce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as alleged corruption in his government.
Images from Jerusalem showed some of the protesters clashing with police outside the residence of Netanyahu on Saturday night.
The number of people to test positive for coronavirus in Israel topped 60,000 on Saturday as the government struggled to contain a resurgence in infection rates.
With a population of nine million, Israel has reported a total of 455 deaths from the pandemic.
00:01 GMT – US state of Arizona reports 3,700 new cases
Hurricane Hanna roared ashore on the US Gulf Coast in the state of Texas, bringing winds that lashed the shoreline with rain and storm surge – and even threatening to bring possible tornadoes to a part of the country trying to cope with a spike in coronavirus cases.
The first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall on Saturday afternoon. By the evening, it had maximum sustained winds of 90mph (145kmph).
Many parts of Texas, including the area where Hanna came ashore, have been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, but local officials said they were prepared for whatever the storm might bring.
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 25, here.