Global coronavirus cases approach 20 million: Live updates

Global infections approach 20 million as virus deaths around the world exceeds 700,000.

AUSTRALIA-HEALTH-VIRUS Ambulance officers remove a resident from the St Basil''s Home for the Aged in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner on July 27, 2020, with 84 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus linked to the facility. The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 532 new coronavirus cases, the highest one-day total in the state since the pandemic started. William WEST / AFP [AFP]
  • Russian authorities have reported 5,118 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing the country’s tally to 892,654.
  • The Australian state of Victoria has announced 19 deaths as it battles a resurgent virus in Melbourne.

  • Nearly 200 doctors in India have died after contracting COVID-19, the Indian Medical Association reported.
  • Almost 20 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, more than 12.1 million have recovered, and 732,689 have died.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, August 10

21:30 GMT – Trump, coaches push for college football 

President Donald Trump joined a US senator and a number of coaches in a push to save the college football season from a pandemic-forced shutdown.

There was speculation that two of the five most powerful conferences – the Big Ten and the Pac-12 – might call off their seasons. Farther east, Old Dominion canceled fall sports and became the first school in the Bowl Subdivison to break from its league in doing so; the rest of Conference USA was going forward with plans to play. 

A growing number of athletes have spoken out about saving the season with Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence among the group posting their thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay. Trump threw his support behind them Monday.

“The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled,” he tweeted.

19:45 GMT – COVID-19 cases in US children soared in late July, report says

The number of new COVID-19 cases among children in the US rose 40 percent in the last two weeks of July, according to a report released just weeks before tens of millions of American students are scheduled to begin the new school year.

The new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that more than 338,000 children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the US epidemic, with 97,078 new cases reported in the July 16-30 period.

The American Academy of Pediatrics noted the data showed that severe illness due to COVID-19 appears to be rare among children. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has said that children who get the virus are less likely to have severe symptoms.

16:15 GMT – Antonio Banderas says he has tested positive for coronavirus

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas announced he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is celebrating his 60th birthday in quarantine, reading, writing and “making plans to begin to give meaning to my 60th year to which I arrive full of enthusiasm”, he wrote on Instagram

“I would like to add that I am relatively well, just a little more tired than usual and hoping to recover as soon as possible following medical instructions that I hope will allow me to overcome the infection that I and so many people in the world are suffering from,” wrote Banderas.

View this post on Instagram

Un saludo a todos. Quiero hacer público que hoy, 10 de Agosto, me veo obligado a celebrar mi 60 cumpleaños siguiendo cuarentena al haber dado positivo de la enfermedad COVID-19, causada por el coronavirus. Me gustaría añadir que me encuentro relativamente bien, solo un poco más cansado de lo habitual y confiado en recuperarme lo antes posible siguiendo las indicaciones médicas que espero me permitan superar el proceso infeccioso que sufro y que a tantas personas está afectando alrededor del planeta. Aprovecharé este aislamiento para leer, escribir, descansar y seguir haciendo planes para comenzar a darle significado a mis recién estrenados 60 años a los cuales llego cargado de ganas y de ilusión. Un fuerte abrazo a todos. Antonio Banderas.

A post shared by Antonio Banderas (@antoniobanderasoficial) on

17:40 GMT – US Treasury Secretary sees possible virus deal, but no talks set with Congress

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress and the administration of US President Donald Trump could reach a coronavirus aid deal as soon as this week, but Democrats said the two sides have not spoken since talks collapsed last Friday.

Pres Trump
US President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows talk before Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday in Washington, DC, the US [AP Photo/Alex Brandon]

With negotiations at a standstill and Trump taking action at the weekend to try to sidestep Congress, it was unclear whether Democrats and Republicans would be able to bridge their differences to provide relief to workers, businesses and local governments that have been devastated by the pandemic.

Trump on Saturday signed executive orders and memorandums on expired unemployment benefits, eviction suspensions, student loan payments and payroll taxes. But it was not immediately clear whether they would provide relief.

17:25 GMT – US health officials are quitting or getting fired amid outbreak

Vilified, threatened with violence and in some cases burned out, dozens of state and local public health officials around the country have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak.

California’s public health director, Dr Sonia Angell, quit without explanation on Sunday following a technical glitch that caused a delay in reporting virus test results – information that was used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools. Last week, New York City’s health commissioner was replaced after months of tension with the New York Police Department and City Hall.

A review by the Kaiser Health News service and The Associated Press found at least 48 state and local health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 23 states. The list has grown by more than 20 people since June.

17:15 GMT – US schools mull outdoor classes amid virus, ventilation worries

As they plan or contemplate reopening this autumn, schools around the United States are dealing with aging air conditioning, heating and circulation systems that do not work well or at all because maintenance and replacement were deferred due to tight budgets. Concerns about school infrastructure are adding momentum to plans in some districts, even in colder climates, to take classes outdoors for the sake of student and teacher health.

Nationwide, an estimated 41 percent of school districts need to update or replace their heating, ventilation and cooling systems in at least half their schools, according to a federal report issued in June.

Some officials say one solution to air circulation problems may be teaching classes outdoors, which was done during tuberculosis and influenza outbreaks in the early 1900s, even in cold weather. The coronavirus spreads less efficiently outdoors and students could more easily sit two metres (six feet) apart.

Sonia Angell
Dr Sonia Angell announced she was departing from her role as director and state public health officer for the California Department of Public Health in a letter to staff released Sunday, August 9, 2020 in the US [Rich Pedroncelli, Pool via AP] [Daylife]

16:30 GMT – US employers post more jobs in June, pull back on hiring

US employers advertised more jobs in June compared with the previous month, but overall hiring fell, painting a mixed picture of the job market.

The number of jobs posted on the last day in June jumped 9.6 percent to 5.9 million, the US Department of Labor said Monday – a solid gain but still below the pre-pandemic level of about 7 million. And employers hired 6.7 million people in June, down from 7.2 million in May, a record high.

The figures suggest that restaurants, bars, retail shops, and entertainment venues – businesses that were subject to shutdown orders in April – continued to bring back workers at a healthy pace. Job openings in those industries also rose.

15:40 GMT – Trump’s COVID-19 unemployment plan confuses US state governors

Whether United States President Donald Trump has the constitutional authority to extend federal unemployment benefits by executive order remains unclear. It is also unclear if states, which are necessary partners in Trump’s plan to bypass Congress, will sign on.

Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Congress had approved payments of $600 a week at the outset of the outbreak, but those benefits expired August 1 and Congress has been unable to agree on an extension.

Trump - coronavirus
President Donald Trump signing an executive order during a news conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the US [AP Photo/Susan Walsh]

But under Trump’s plan, the $400 a week requires a state to commit to providing $100. Many states are already facing budget crunches caused by the pandemic. Asked at a news conference how many governors had signed on to participate, Trump answered: “If they don’t, they don’t. That’s up to them.”

Read more here.

15:20 GMT – Iran closes down newspaper after expert doubts official coronavirus tolls

Iran shut down a newspaper after it quoted a former member of the national coronavirus task force as saying the country’s tolls from the epidemic could be 20 times higher than official figures, state news agency IRNA reported.

“The Jahan-e Sanat newspaper was shut down today for publishing an interview on Sunday,” the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Mohammadreza Saadi, told IRNA.

On Sunday, the newspaper published an interview with epidemiologist Mohammadreza Mahboubfar, in which he said: “The figures announced by the officials on coronavirus cases and deaths account for only five percent of the country’s real tolls”.

15:10 GMT – UN official lauds Pakistan’s virus containment

The incoming president of the United Nations General Assembly has praised Pakistan for quickly containing the coronavirus, saying the South Asian nation’s handling of the pandemic is a good example for the world.

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir made his comment at a news conference in the capital, Islamabad.

Bozkir was recently elected as the president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

15:00 GMT – Cuba reports record number of COVID-19 cases

Cuba reported a record 93 cases of the new coronavirus as a surge of the disease in the Havana area threatened to stall the reopening of the country after a partial lockdown beginning in March.

A partial lockdown was reimposed on Monday in Havana and in neighbouring Artemisa Province. The area has been isolated from the rest of the country where with but few exceptions no cases have been reported in more than two months.

In Havana, restaurants, bars and pools are once more closed, public transportation suspended and access to the beach banned.

14:59 GMT – Virus doesn’t seem to follow seasonal patterns: WHO

A senior doctor at the World Health Organization said COVID-19 is not showing signs of seasonal patterns, and that lifting restrictions is what will cause it to “bounce back”.

Speaking from Geneva on Monday, Dr Michael Ryan, the director of WHO Health Emergencies Programne, said “so far, what it has clearly demonstrated is you take the pressure off the virus, the virus bounces back”.

14:35 GMT – Virus spread accelerates in Denmark

Denmark has seen a new spread of COVID-19 infections in the past week with the reproduction rate rising to 1.4, the country’s health minister said.

“The virus is moving through our society once again,” Magnus Heunicke told reporters.

In the past week, infections have been confirmed in 67 out of Denmark’s 98 municipalities. The country’s second-largest city, Aarhus, had the biggest number of new infections.

14:10 GMT – Italy fears being ‘surrounded’ by contagious countries

Italy sounded the alarm over the rise in coronavirus cases in fellow European countries after a spike in the number of infections discovered among returning Italian holidaymakers.

“Not to worry [about new cases from abroad] would be unconscionable,” Health Minister Roberto Speranza told the Corriere della Sera daily, which noted: “France, Spain and the Balkans… Italy is surrounded by contagions”.

Fear over new outbreaks imported by returning vacationers has been fuelled by the much-publicised case of 30 young Italians from the Veneto region who holidayed in Croatia and returned with coronavirus at the start of August.

13:45 GMT – Face masks now required outdoors at crowded Paris locations

From the most romantic spots along the river Seine to popular shopping streets, residents and visitors in Paris were required to wear face masks in some outdoor areas of the French capital amid an uptick in reported coronavirus cases.

Police are authorised to issue a 35-euro ($41) fine to people who do not follow the new public health requirement.

People, wearing protective face mask, queue outside the Grand Palais prior to a reception called by French Health Minister and gathering 800 medical staff that helped during the novel coronavirus (COV
France reported more than 2,000 new confirmed cases in 24 hours on Friday, the biggest single-day rise since May [Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

13:15 GMT – Spanish actor Banderas says has COVID-19, feels “relatively well”

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas, 60, said he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and is in quarantine.

“I’d like to add that I’m feeling relatively well, just a bit more tired than usual, and confident that I will recover as soon as possible,” Banderas said on Twitter.

12:15 GMT – Brazil facing continued pressure in coronavirus fight: WHO

Indicators point to Brazil, which has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus infections, facing continued pressure on its healthcare system, the World Health Organization said.

Brazil has reported more than three million confirmed cases, second only to the United States, and has also reported more than 101,000 deaths.

Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Umut Uras.


11:15 – WHO warns of need to fight new COVID-19 flareups

The coronavirus sweeping the world has shown no seasonal pattern and if health authorities take the pressure off fighting it, it will bounce back, the World Health Organization said.

Dr Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies programme, said Western Europe and elsewhere needed to react fast to new flare-ups.

10:45 GMT – Vietnam reports six more coronavirus infections

Vietnam’s health ministry reported six more coronavirus infections and two additional deaths, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 847, with 13 fatalities.

Most of the new cases, including that of an eight-year-old boy, are linked to the central city of Danang, where the new outbreak began late last month.

The ministry said more than 182,000 people are being quarantined in the country, including 5,139 at hospitals, 28,408 at centralised quarantine centres and the rest at home.

10:00 GMT – US’s Azar says any vaccine would be shared once national needs met

United States Health Secretary Alex Azar said that any US vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 would be shared fairly with the rest of the world, once the US’s needs have been satisfied.

“Our first priority of course is to develop and produce enough quantity of safe and effective FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for use in the United States,” Azar told reporters while on a visit to Taiwan.

“But we anticipate having capacity that, once those needs are satisfied, those products would be available in the world community according to fair and equitable distributions that we would consult in the international community on.”

Trump - Azar
Azar says the United States’ decision to leave the World Health Organization does not mean less international involvement for his country in global public health [File: AP]

09:25 GMT – UK: Getting children back to school is a national priority

It is a national priority for children to return to school after months at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, a junior British health minister said.

“Sadly, we have seen children from more disadvantaged backgrounds (are) more likely to fall behind during this time, so it is essential that we have children back at school this autumn,” Helen Whately told Sky News.

09:00 GMT – Hong Kong reports 69 new coronavirus cases 

Hong Kong reported 69 new cases on Monday, 67 of which were locally transmitted, as authorities fought to contain a resurgence of the virus over the last six weeks.

Since late January, over 4,000 people have been infected in Hong Kong, 55 of whom have died. On Sunday, Hong Kong reported 72 new cases.

08:30 GMT – Russia reports more than 5,100 new cases

Russian authorities confirmed 5,118 new coronavirus cases, pushing the national tally to 892,654, the fourth-largest in the world.

The official death toll rose to 15,001 after 70 people were reported to have died in the last 24 hours.

Russia's coronavirus cases exceed 806,000
The official coronavirus death toll in Russia has risen to 15,001 [Anadolu]

07:50 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,687 new coronavirus cases

Indonesia reported 1,687 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 127,083, data from the COVID-19 task force showed.

The Southeast Asian country also had 42 new deaths, taking that total to 5,765. 

07:20 GMT – Where are we in finding a treatment for COVID-19?

There are currently neither licensed treatments nor a vaccine for COVID-19.

However, several drugs are being studied in large clinical trials and more research is under way.

Read more here.

Where are we in finding a treatment for COVID-19?
[Illustration by Jawahir al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

06:45 GMT – India’s largest crocodile park strapped for cash after virus lockdowns

India’s Madras Crocodile Bank may have as little as four months before it runs out of funds to feed animals, pay staff, and do research, as ticket revenue shrinks as lockdowns reduced visitors, park officials said.

Annual sales of about 5 million tickets make up roughly half the park’s revenue, but it has been shut since March 16 with no prospect of reopening in sight.

The lockdowns during the summer vacation season have cost an estimated 14 million rupees ($187,000) as visitors dropped by almost 2.5 million, Allwin Jesudasan, director of the park, told the Reuters news agency.

India Crocodiles
Zookeepers feed crocodiles in their enclosure at the Madras Crocodile Bank in Mahabalipuram, India [Reuters] 

05:45 GMT – German firms expect life to be restricted for 8.5 more months: Survey

German companies expect public life to be restricted for a further 8.5 months due to coronavirus, a survey by the Ifo economic institute showed, as Europe’s largest economy battles to recover from a pandemic-induced downturn.

Leisure firms, hit hard by the crisis, are particularly pessimistic, expecting restrictions to last another 13 months while the beverage sector is more optimistic, foreseeing an end to restrictions in 6.4 months.

Hello, this is Umut Uras in Doha taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.

05:15 GMT – US warned coronavirus deaths could reach 300,000

As the US recorded more than five million coronavirus infections, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration Dr Scott Gottlieb has issued a warning about the rising death toll, saying he expected it to be “somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000”.

“The concern now is that this has become so pervasive across the country that it could start to infect more rural communities that have largely been untouched to date … but are still very vulnerable because the infection hasn’t been there,” Gottlieb said in an interview with CBS’s Face The Nation.

According to reports, one out of every 66 residents in the US is now infected with COVID-19. As of Monday, the US has reported almost 163,000 deaths.

04:50 GMT – Russia’s race for virus vaccine raises concerns in the West

Russia boasts that it is about to become the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, with mass vaccinations planned as early as October using shots that are yet to complete clinical trials – and scientists worldwide are sounding the alarm that the headlong rush could backfire.

According to Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund that bankrolled the effort, a vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute in Moscow may be approved within days, before scientists complete a so-called “phase three study”.

That final-stage study, usually involving tens of thousands of people, is the only way to prove if an experimental vaccine is safe and really works.

04:20 GMT – Australia’s internal border closures to stay for months

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the country’s internal border closures were unlikely to be lifted before Christmas.

Morrison, however, said that he is “more hopeful” that the measures being implemented are bearing results, with the daily new infections in the state of Victoria slowing to a near two-week low.

Australia reported on Monday its highest number of fatalities.

03:49 GMT – Red Cross sends thousands of volunteers to help N Korea cope with coronavirus, floods

The Red Cross has trained some 43,000 North Korean volunteers to help communities in all nine provinces, including the locked-down city of Kaesong, fight the novel coronavirus and provide flood assistance, an official with the relief organisation said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency last month, imposing a lockdown on Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, after a man who defected to the South in 2017 returned to the city showing coronavirus symptoms.

Heavy rain and flooding in recent days have also sparked concern about crop damage and food supplies in the isolated country.

03:15 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 436 to 216,327

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 436 to 216,327, Reuters news agency reported on Monday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,197, the tally showed.

02:45 GMT – Manila to distribute one million face masks to help contain pandemic

The Philippine economy took a major hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government reporting a 16.5-percent drop in GDP in the second quarter of 2020 [Francis R Malasig/EPA]

Manila’s mayor has announced that the Philippine capital the will distribute one million face masks to its residents, as part of the local government’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus as a lockdown was reimposed on the city and nearby provinces until August 18.

Mayor Franciso Moreno also said the city is allocating at least 200m pesos ($4m) to procure the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available.

The Philippines has almost 130,000 cases nationwide and more than 2,200 deaths, most of which were in the Metro Manila area, which has a population of over 12 million. The national government has faced criticism over its pandemic response, forcing local governments to adopt localised restrictions and policies. 

02:25 GMT – South Korea reports 28 new coronavirus cases

South Korea reported 28 new coronavirus cases on Monday, including 17 local infections, raising the total to 14,626.

Yonhap news agency quoted the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying that of the 17 local transmissions, 11 were reported in the capital, Seoul. Meanwhile, a church in Goyang, north of Seoul, reported eight additional cases on Sunday.

There were no new reported deaths, keeping the total fatalities at 305. Around 93 percent of the total cases have already recovered.

01:48 GMT – Venezuela’s Maduro extends coronavirus restrictions for 30 days

President Nicolas Maduro has announced the extension of Venezuela’s state of alert for another 30 days, to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Maduro made the announcement as he said that 5,491 Venezuelan nationals who recently returned to the country had tested positive of the coronavirus.

As of the end of Sunday, the country added 844 new cases, including 797 local infections and 47 imported cases, as well as eight deaths. Venezuela has reported almost 26,000 cases and 223 deaths so far.

01:15 GMT – Brazil reports more than 23,000 new coronavirus cases, 572 deaths

Brazil’s health ministry has reported 23,010 new cases of COVID-19, with 572 new fatalities, as the country struggles with containing the spread.

With the latest numbers, South America’s most populous nation now has more than 3 million cases and over 2.3 million recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

The country’s death toll from COVID-19 has hit more than 101,000 – second only to the US.

Demonstrators in Sao Paulo protest against Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic last Friday [Andre Penner/AP]

01:00 GMT – China reports 49 new coronavirus cases in mainland

China reported 49 new coronavirus cases in the mainland as of the end of August 9, compared with 23 cases a day earlier, Reuters news agency said, quoting the health authority.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 35 of the new infections were imported cases. There were no new deaths. China also reported 31 new asymptomatic patients, compared with 11 a day earlier.

As of August 9, mainland China had a total of 84,668 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said, with the death toll unchanged at 4,634.

00:15 GMT – Mexico reports 4,376 new COVID-19 cases, 292 new fatalities

Mexico’s health ministry reported 4,376 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 292 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 480,278 cases and 52,298 deaths, according to Reuters News Agency.

Officials have said the real numbers are likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Mexico has the third-highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the US and Brazil. 

00:05 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports 322 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

Australia reported a record number of coronavirus deaths on Monday, although the number of new infections in the country’s virus hotspot fell to a near two-week low, according to Reuters news agency.

Officials in Victoria state, the epicentre of Australia’s second wave, reported that 19 people had died from the virus over the past 24 hours. Even with other states still to report daily new case and death numbers, that marks the country’s biggest single-day rise in fatalities.

In more positive news, Victoria officials also reported 322 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest number of single-day new infections since July 29. Australia has recorded about 21,000 COVID-19 cases, and 314 deaths, still far fewer than many other developed nations.


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

For all the key developments from yesterday, August 9, go here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies