Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is in a serious condition with a fever, her party’s spokeswoman has said.
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has warned the country is on the brink of a nationwide outbreak following the highest daily number of coronavirus cases recorded since March.
- India has had the highest number of daily new cases in the world for the last 18 days, with more than 50,000 new cases every day.
- More than 23.1 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14.91 million have recovered. At least 804,400 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus is circulating four times more among people under 40 in France than among those over 65, health minister Olivier Veran said, as France reported an additional 3,602 new COVID-19 cases.
Here are the latest updates:
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Sunday, August 23
23:15 GMT – Trump announces plasma treatment for COVID-19
US President Donald Trump has announced the emergency authorisation of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients, in a move he called “a breakthrough,” one of his top health officials called “promising,” and other health experts said needs more study before it is celebrated.
The announcement came after days of White House officials suggesting there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump’s reelection chances, according to AP news agency.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump put himself at the centre of the FDA’s announcement of the authorisation in a news conference on Sunday evening.
The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling with the disease. But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what dose is needed.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the US has almost 5.7 million cases and almost 177,000 deaths linked to COVID-19.
20:05 GMT – What’s behind the record rise in global COVID-19 infections?
Nearly nine months since the new coronavirus was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the COVID-19 disease it causes appears to be spreading faster than ever around the world.
Some countries are reporting their highest daily infection rates. India passed three million cases after recording just under 70,000 on Sunday.
South Korea – a country praised for its initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic – has reported its highest daily total since March, while Germany, France, Spain and Italy are also recording rising daily figures.
Should we be worried, and are further lockdowns needed?
18:45 GMT – Virus cases keep rising in Italy
The number of daily coronavirus cases recorded in Italy has nearly doubled in the past five days, jumping to more than 1,200 over the past 24 hours.
The rise was closely linked to travel and summer entertainment for holidaymakers, according to an official report.
Italy recorded 1,210 cases in the past 24 hours, compared 642 on Wednesday, latest official figures showed. On Saturday, 1,071 new cases were recorded, with 947 cases registered on Friday and 845 on Thursday.
The biggest number of cases was recorded in the northern Lombardy region with 239, followed by the Rome region where there were 184 further cases and the Venice region which had 145.
18:30 GMT – Trump administration considering UK COVID-19 vaccine before election
The Trump administration is considering fast-tracking an experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University for use in the US ahead of the November 3 elections, the Financial Times reported.
One option being explored would involve the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awarding “emergency use authorization” in October to the potential vaccine, which was developed by Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca, the FT reported.
18:25 GMT – France reports post-lockdown daily record of 4,897 new coronavirus cases
The French health ministry has reported 4,897 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, marking the highest daily level since the end of a two-month lockdown in May to combat the pandemic.
The ministry said the total coronavirus deaths in the country had risen by one in the past 24 hours to 30,513.
17:45 GMT – Florida reports fewer than 3,000 new coronavirus cases
Florida’s coronavirus case load has surged past the 600,000 mark but the state has reported one of its lowest daily totals in two months over the past 24 hours, continuing a downward trend that began five weeks ago.
A total of 2,974 new cases were reported on Sunday, only the second time since June 22 that fewer than 3,000 new cases have been tallied in a day. The other time was Monday, when 2,678 cases were reported. Sundays and Mondays often have a low number of reports as not all hospitals report on the weekend.
The daily total peaked on July 15 when more than 15,000 cases were reported, but has been declining since.
Hospitalisations due to COVID-19 have also been declining. Late on Sunday morning, 4,578 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals compared to Saturday’s 4,773. It is a drop of almost 800 since Thursday. Hospitalisations peaked at above 9,500 on July 23. Overall, the state has now reported 600,571 confirmed cases.
15:35 GMT – UK records 1,041 new coronavirus cases
The United Kingdom has recorded 1,041 new cases of COVID-19, down from 1,288 on Saturday, government figures showed.
Six people died after testing positive for the coronavirus within the previous 28 days, compared with 18 deaths announced on Saturday.
15:25 GMT – Peru: 13 killed as police raid club breaking coronavirus curbs
Thirteen people have been killed in a stampede at a nightclub in Peru’s capital, Lima, after a police raid to enforce the country’s coronavirus lockdown measures, according to officials.
At least six others were injured, including three police officers, as about 120 people tried to escape the Thomas Restobar club on Saturday night shortly after police arrived to break up a party on its second floor, national police and government officials said.
Local media reported that the victims were in their 20s.
Read more here.
15:05 GMT – Ukraine’s ex-leader Tymoshenko in serious condition with coronavirus
Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is currently in a serious condition, her party’s spokeswoman said on Sunday.
“Sadly, this is the truth,” Marina Soroka, spokeswoman for the Fatherland party, said in a Facebook post. The 59-year-old politician is “fighting” with a temperature of 39 degrees, Soroka said. Local media reported that some members of Tymoshenko’s family were also infected.
Tymoshenko was twice prime minister of Ukraine and became famous in 2004 as the face of widespread protests against corruption and election rigging, known as the Orange Revolution. She has also been jailed twice.
She stood for the third time in Ukraine’s presidential elections in 2019, but failed to gain sufficient support. Ukraine has so far recorded 107,379 cases of the virus, and a death toll of 2,313.
14:05 GMT – UK’s top medical officers defend opening of schools
England’s chief medical officer has joined his counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in saying that children are less likely to contract the virus than adults and have “an exceptionally low risk” of dying from COVID-19.
By contrast, they said studies show that not going to school limits children’s ability to succeed in life and may worsen physical and mental health problems.
“Very few, if any, children or teenagers will come to long-term harm from COVID-19 due solely to attending school,” they said in a statement. “This has to be set against a certainty of long-term harm to many children and young people from not attending school.”
The statement comes as parents and teachers express concern about reopening schools next month amid fears that social distancing measures won’t keep children safe.
14:00 GMT – Pakistan reports four new coronavirus deaths, 591 cases
Pakistani authorities have reported four new COVID-19 fatalities in the past 24 hours, the fewest deaths since March.
The announcement raises hopes that Pakistan is on the right path to fully contain the coronavirus despite having a fragile health system. The National Command and Control Center also reported 591 new cases, increasing the country’s caseload to 275,836, including 6,275 deaths.
Pakistan witnessed a sudden spike in infections and deaths in June, but confirmed cases and fatalities have gradually declined since then. The latest development comes days after Pakistan’s drug regulatory agency approved final-phase testing of a Chinese-made coronavirus vaccine.
Pakistan hopes it will get the vaccine on priority from neighbouring China if its clinical trials show success.
12:30 GMT – Irish parliament to be recalled early in wake of virus breach scandal
Ireland’s parliament is to be recalled from its recess early as public anger grows over the breach of coronavirus restrictions by senior politicians.
Opposition leaders have been calling for an early recall after it emerged last Thursday that senior government figures and the European Union Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan had breached regulations by attending a golf society dinner with more than 80 diners.
A government spokesperson told national broadcaster RTE Saturday that Prime Minister Micheal Martin and his deputy Leo Varadkar had asked the commissioner to consider his position.
The Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary resigned his post on Friday along with Deputy Chairman of the Senate, Jerry Buttimer, over their attendance at the event.
12:00 GMT – Sicilian president wants to expel migrants due to COVID-19 risks
The president of Sicily has issued a decree ordering the mass expulsion of asylum seekers from the island because of novel coronavirus contagion risks.
It is unclear how the drastic measure could be implemented, and whether the Sicilian has the authority to issue it. There was no immediate response to the move from the Interior Ministry in Rome.
“Sicily cannot be invaded, while Europe is turning a blind eye and the government is not enacting any pushbacks,” President Nello Musumeci wrote on Sunday on Facebook, publishing his decree which is valid until September 10.
11:35 GMT – Local virus outbreak in Myanmar sparks fears for Rohingya camps
Rohingya in Myanmar’s conflict-wracked Rakhine state expressed fears of a coronavirus outbreak reaching their overcrowded camps, after a spate of infections sent the state capital into lockdown.
Nearly 130,000 Rohingya Muslims live in what Amnesty International describes as “apartheid” conditions in camps around Sittwe.
The city has recorded 48 cases in the past week, making up more than 10 percent of the about 400 cases so far registered in Myanmar.
“We are extremely worried about the virus because we are living in limbo and it won’t be easy to control,” said Rohingya Kyaw Kyaw.
10:32 GMT – Russia plans COVID-19 vaccine output at 6 million doses a month
Russia expects to produce between 1.5 million and two million doses per month of its potential COVID-19 vaccine by the year’s end, gradually ramping up production to six million doses a month, the RIA news agency cited industry minister Denis Manturov as saying.
Large-scale testing of the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya institute, is due to start in Russia next week.
10:15 GMT – Philippines’ coronavirus cases rise close to 190,000
The Philippines recorded 2,378 new coronavirus infections, its smallest daily spike in nearly four weeks, but the nationwide tally rose to 189,601, still the highest in Southeast Asia.
In a bulletin, the department of health also reported another 32 fatalities, bringing the country’s death toll to 2,998
09:00 GMT – Italy rules out new lockdown as coronavirus cases rise
The Italian government is not considering new lockdowns to curb coronavirus infections despite a steady rise in new cases over the past month, health minister Roberto Speranza said.
Speranza told daily newspaper La Stampa the current situation cannot be compared with February and March when the disease was out of control and it was difficult to track and isolate infected people.
“I am optimistic, although prudent. Our national health service has become much stronger.”
08:35 GMT – Indonesia reports 2,037 new coronavirus cases
Indonesia has reported 2,037 new coronavirus cases, bringing its tally to 153,535, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
The Southeast Asian country also added 86 COVID deaths on Sunday, taking the total number of deaths to 6,680 – the highest in Southeast Asia.
07:58 GMT – Bangladesh: Religious secretary infected by coronavirus
Bangladesh’s religious affairs secretary and his wife tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an official said on Sunday.
“Religion Secretary Md Nurul Islam and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus. Both of them are under treatment at the Rajarbagh Police Hospital,” Mohammad Anwar Hossain, a senior information officer at the Ministry of Religious Affairs, said.
According to the directorate-general of health services, the death toll in the country rose to 1,907 and the total number of confirmed cases is 292,625.
06:38 GMT – UK PM Johnson says schools must reopen
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told allies that “failure to reopen schools is not an option”, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.
Earlier this month, Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative, insisting schools would be able to operate safely despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sunday Times reported this month that Johnson had ordered a public relations campaign to ensure schools open on time.
05:40 GMT – India surpasses 3 million COVID-19 cases
India’s coronavirus tally crossed the 3 million case mark, the country’s health ministry said, just 16 days after the number of cases surpassed 2 million.
An update released by the health ministry showed the death toll stands at 56,706. In the last 24 hours, the country recorded close to 70,000 new cases.
Ministry figures show the western state of Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases in the country.
Read more here.
04:45 GMT – Germany reports 782 new cases
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute has reported at least 782 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to at least 232,864.
The country also reported two more deaths, bringing the total fatalities to 9,269.
At least 207,600 patients have recovered, which is equivalent to an 89-percent recovery rate.
04:30 GMT- Australia’s Victoria reports another 208 infections
Australia’s state of Victoria reported another 208 new cases and 17 new deaths on Sunday.
Australia now has a total tally of more than 24,800 infections and 502 deaths.
But Victoria’s top health official, Peter Sutton, made an assurance that overall the situation remains positive, and that if the trend continues, he expects the daily numbers to drop below 150 next week.
04:05 GMT – Italy links surge in new cases to vacationers from Sardinia
Vacationers returning to the Italian mainland from Sardinia helped push Italy’s daily caseload from 947 on Friday to 1,071 on Saturday, with many infections confirmed in travellers who were tested as they disembarked from aeroplanes or ferries.
Authorities in Lazio, the south-central region including Rome, say 45 percent of its 215 new cases Saturday were from people returning from Sardinia, where several clusters have been linked to discos or private parties on the posh Emerald Coast resort area.
While the average age of infection early in the outbreak hovered near 70, it is now 30.
Italy has more than 258,000 confirmed cases. With three more deaths, the known total has reached 35,400.
03:40 GMT – China reports 12 new cases
China’s National Health Commission reported on Sunday at least 12 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing to over 89,600 the total number of infections.
The agency also said the death toll since the outbreak started in the city of Wuhan stands at 4,634 with no new deaths.
According to the government, 422 patients remain in the hospital, 16 in critical condition.
02:15 GMT – South Korea reports highest daily cases since March
South Korea’s daily new virus cases spiked to 397 on Sunday – the highest since March 7- as infections were reported in all major cities and provinces, according to Yonhap news agency quoting the health ministry. The country’s total caseload has risen to 17,399 while the number of deaths remained at 309.
Of the new cases, 387 were local infections, 297 of them in Seoul and the surrounding areas, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
Health authorities said many of the new cases were traced to a church in northern Seoul and a massive weekend rally also in the capital.
01:58 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus deaths pass 60,000, cases top 550,000
Mexico’s coronavirus death toll has surpassed 60,000 after the country’s health ministry reported 644 additional fatalities.
The government also said there were 6,482 new confirmed infections as of the end of Saturday, bringing the total to 556,216 cases.
00:20 GMT – Coronavirus spreading four times more among 40-year-olds in France
The coronavirus is circulating four times more among people under 40 in France than among those over 65, Reuters quoted France’s health minister as saying.
Olivier Veran said in an interview with France’s Journal Du Dimanche (JDD) that the higher number of cases being detected was not solely down to more testing. Like President Emmanuel Macron, he ruled out the need for another total lockdown but said localised measures could be taken as cases grow.
France reported a 3,602 new infections over the past 24 hours on Saturday, a smaller rise than the previous day. Earlier in the week, however, the number of daily cases had reached a post-lockdown high.
00:01 GMT – Brazil registers 50,032 new cases of coronavirus, 892 deaths in 24 hours
Brazil has reported 50,032 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 892 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Reuters, citing the health ministry.
Brazil has registered 3,582,362 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll from COVID-19 has risen to 114,250, according to ministry data from the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak outside the US.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
For all the key developments from Saturday, August 22, go here.