Greece sets coronavirus cases record; 10,000 dead in Chile: Live

UK logs more than 1,000 new cases; US infections surpass 5 million; nearly 200 doctors in India affected.

People wearing protective face masks wait for the start of "The Persians", an ancient Greek drama by Aeschylus first performed in 472 BC, following the easing of measures against the spread of the cor
  • Greece reported 203 new cases, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak in the country. 

  • The United States has set a record for coronavirus cases, with more than five million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country’s top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year’s end.

  • Chile’s coronavirus deaths have surpassed 10,000 deaths with over 373,000 confirmed cases.
  • Nearly 200 doctors in India have died after contracting COVID-19, the India Medical Association reported.
  • At least 19.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the global death toll crossed 728,000. More than 11.9 million have recovered.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, August 9

20:40 GMT – NY governor calls Trump benefits executive order ‘laughable’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed President Donald Trump’s executive orders as “laughable” and another chapter in the federal government’s botched response to the coronavirus as he praised New Yorkers for mostly good behaviour that has reduced the infection rate in his state.

The Democrat was particularly critical of Trump’s Saturday announcement that states must pay part of $400 weekly unemployment insurance benefits.

He told a telephone news conference that Trump’s plan would likely cost New York state $4bn.

20:30 GMT – Death toll in Chile surpasses 10,000

Chile’s coronavirus deaths have crossed 10,000 with over 373,000 confirmed cases, as Latin America continues to be the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.

20:05 GMT – Bolsonaro assails Brazil network blaming him for virus deaths

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro lambasted the “cowardice” of the country’s most widely viewed TV network for suggesting he bore heavy blame for the nation’s more than 100,000 coronavirus deaths.

The far-right president accused TV Globo of treating the death milestone as if it were “a World Cup final,” saying on Twitter that it had been both “cowardly and disrespectful of the dead”.

On Saturday night, shortly after the official announcement that the 100,000-death mark had been passed, TV Globo opened its news report with a long editorial highly critical of Bolsonaro’s handling of the health crisis.

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brasilia
Bolsonaro in a tweet said ‘disinformation kills more than the virus’ [FIle: Adriano Machado/Reuters]

19:32 GMT – Jeweler makes $1.5m gold coronavirus mask

An Israeli jewellery company is working on what it says will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask, a gold, diamond-encrusted face covering with a price tag of $1.5m.

The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with top-rated N99 filters at the request of the buyer, said designer Isaac Levy.

Levy, owner of the Yvel company, said the buyer had two other demands: that it be completed by the end of the year, and that it would be the priciest in the world. That last condition, he said, “was the easiest to fulfil”.

19:10 GMT – Opinion: The coronavirus betrays Netanyahu

Not long ago, I wrote an opinion piece for Al Jazeera English, suggesting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “will go down in history as the first leader who owes his seat to a virus”.

Indeed, in April, it was the public fear of the pandemic that made Blue and White alliance leader Benny Gantz violate his election promise to voters not to form a coalition with Netanyahu.

The incumbent prime minister had used the military call for everyone “to get under the stretcher” to urge his political rivals to join forces with him in defeating the common viral enemy.

Read more here.

A protester holds a sign depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
A protester holds a sign depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against him outside the prime minister residence in Jerusalem [Oded Balilty/AP]

18:43 GMT – Georgia school with large crowds reports positive cases

A total of nine students and staff members at a Georgia high school have tested positive for the coronavirus, the principal said in a letter to parents after the school made headlines for online photos showing hallways packed with teens – many of them not wearing masks.

Principal Gabe Carmona wrote Saturday that six students and three staff members at North Paulding High School west of Atlanta tested positive for COVID-19.

Georgia has over 197,000 coronavirus cases and more than 4,000 deaths.

18:15 GMT – Over 2,700 cases have no identifiable source – Victoria premier

The premier of Australia’s Victoria state says more than 2,700 active cases have no known source and remain the primary concern of health authorities.

Victoria saw a welcome drop in its new COVID-19 cases with 394 but a record 17 deaths, including two people in their 50s. It took the hard-hit state’s toll to 210 and the Australian total of deaths to 295.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said confirmed cases also include almost 1,000 health care workers.

17:45 GMT – Nearly 1800 UK companies informed govt of plans to cut jobs – BBC

The number of British companies planning to cut staff numbers in June was five times higher than in the same month a year earlier, in an ominous sign of COVID-19’s economic impact.

Figures obtained by the BBC show that 1,778 companies informed the government of plans to cut a total of 139,000 jobs. A year earlier, the figure was 345 companies announcing a total of 24,000 job losses.

Businesses are required to inform the Insolvency Service if they plan to cut 20 or more jobs.

17:10 GMT – Greece registers highest daily tally of COVID 19 cases

Greece reported 203 new cases of COVID-19, its highest daily tally since the start of the outbreak in the country, a government official said.

The latest jump in cases brings the total number of infections in the country to 5,623 since its first infection surfaced in late February.

Athens, Greece
Greece has recorded 211 deaths to date, according to Johns Hopkins University [File: Petros Giannakouris/AP]

16:50 GMT – Nearly 200 doctors dead from coronavirus – medical association

The Indian Medical Association says 196 doctors have died of COVID-19 so far and, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested adequate care for physicians and their families.

The Health Ministry recorded nearly 64,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,153,010. At least 628,747 patients are still undergoing treatment.

India also recorded 861 fatalities, driving the death toll to 43,379.

16:25 GMT – Daily tally of virus cases in Italy leaps higher

Italy’s tally of daily new COVID-19 cases leaped higher, with 463 cases, according to health ministry figures.

Many of the latest cases have been found in young people returning from holidays abroad.

Italy’s day-to-day new caseload had previously soared far above 500 confirmed infections, but the number had dropped to 347 on Saturday, more in line with numbers of the past few weeks.

Guests take their seats before a concert at the Arena in Verona, northern Italy, on July 25, 2020. This is the first show with new dispositions against the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) d

15:59 GMT – Arrests after scuffles on beach in Belgium town

A Belgian seaside town closed access to tourists after arrests were made on Saturday following fights on a beach.

Local reports in Blankenberge say its mayor Daphne Dumery had made the decision after police battled with those refusing to follow social distancing rules.

On Saturday, Belgian broadcaster VTM covered the heavy police presence in the coastal town and showed footage of arrests being made.

15:25 GMT – UK’s COVID-19 daily infections rise to highest level since June

The United Kingdom reported 1,062 new positive tests for coronavirus, the highest daily rise in new COVID-19 infections since late June, at a time of new local lockdowns in some areas and worries over a second wave of infections.

Official data showed 1,062 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, above the 1,000 new daily cases mark for the first time since June, and 304 higher than the 758 new cases reported on Saturday.

14:50 GMT – Brazil coronavirus deaths urged to be investigated

Oxfam Brazil has urged that an official investigation into Brazil’s coronavirus deaths, which surpassed 100,000 on Saturday, be conducted.

“This is a shameful day for Brazil. We can no longer witness our government’s lack of action in the face of mass coronavirus death. We stand in solidarity with other Brazilian organizations in invoking the power of law to intervene and hold this government to account,” said Katia Maia, executive director of Oxfam Brazil, in a news release.

Oxfam Brazil and the Brazilian Institute of Consumer Protection (IDEC) petitioned the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Federal Court of Accounts on July 28 to investigate the “countless” flaws in the Jair Bolsonaro-led government’s response, the statement said.

14:24 GMT – US hits five million COVID-19 cases: Johns Hopkins

The United States has registered more than five million cases in the coronavirus pandemic, as well as at least 162,000 deaths as the country struggles to control the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Polls have shown a large majority of voters unhappy with President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis, ahead of the November election that could see him ousted from office.

13:58 GMT – LA County coronavirus hospitalisations continue to decline

Los Angeles County public health officials on Saturday reported 2,645 new cases of the coronavirus and 51 related deaths but said hospitalisations continue to decline.

The latest case numbers did not include a pending backlog of lab reports the county is expecting the state to send via its electronic reporting system over the next couple of days, officials said.

It is not clear whether that will change the overall picture of how rapidly the virus continues to spread.

Still, officials said, death and hospitalisation statistics were not affected by the reporting glitch, which has rendered new case numbers inaccurate.

Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Shereena Qazi.

12:34 GMT – Malawi cracks down on ‘alarming’ virus surge

Malawi shut bars and churches in new restrictions to limit the “alarming” spread of coronavirus, three months after a court blocked the government from imposing a full lockdown.


Since the first positive case was detected on April 2, confirmed cases have nearly doubled over the past four weeks to hit over 4,624, including 143 deaths as of Saturday.

Malawi had not been placed under a lockdown after a court in April blocked the government from enforcing a full lockdown because it had failed to announce any measures to cushion the vulnerable.

11:35 GMT – Vietnam reports 31 new COVID-19 cases, one death

Vietnam’s health ministry reported 31 new COVID-19 cases and an additional death, taking the country’s total tally to 841, with 11 fatalities.

All of the new cases are linked to the central city of Danang, where the new outbreak began late last month, the ministry said in a statement.

There have been 355 cases since the virus resurfaced in Danang, with 11 deaths. Coronavirus infections have since been detected in at least 15 locations in Vietnam.

10:50 GMT – North Korea brings aid supplies to border town under lockdown

North Korea’s governing party has delivered special aid packages of food and medical equipment to residents of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, after imposing a lockdown there due to COVID-19 concerns, state media said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency and imposed a lockdown on the small border town last month after a person, who defected to South Korea in 2017, returned to Kaesong across the highly fortified border showing coronavirus symptoms.

Pyongyang has not confirmed any coronavirus infections but has been taking strict quarantine measures and screening the town, while providing food, test kits and other medical equipment, according to state media.

South Korea has confirmed 14,598 coronavirus cases and 305 COVID-19 deaths, the Korea Centers for Disease Prevention and Control said on Sunday.

09:55 GMT – Coronavirus cases emerge at second mine in Papua New Guinea

The novel coronavirus has been detected at a second mine in Papua New Guinea, after an employee at the Lihir Mine owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd tested positive for the disease.

The 30-year-old male, who flew in from Port Moresby at the end of July, is among 26 confirmed cases reported by the National Pandemic Control Centre in the capital Port Moresby.

The island nation has now reported a total of 214 coronavirus cases and three deaths.

09:40 GMT – UK PM says schools must open in September

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to operate safely despite the ongoing threat from the pandemic.

His comments follow a study earlier this month which warned that Britain risks a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if schools open without an improved test-and-trace system.

Johnson said restarting schools was a national priority. Schools would be the last places to close in future local lockdowns, he was quoted by another newspaper as telling a meeting on Thursday.

07:35 GMT – Deadly fire at coronavirus facility in south India

At least 11 coronavirus patients were killed by a fire at a southern Indian hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility, officials said, in the second such incident this month.

The blaze at Hotel Swarna Palace in the city of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh state, broke out at 5am local time (23:30 GMT Saturday).

Rescue teams evacuated those trapped in the multi-storey building, according to senior police officer Srinivasulu, who uses only one name.

At least 22 people had been brought to hospitals, he said.

Read more here

05:33 GMT – New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case

Rugby - New Zealand
New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules [Mark Baker/AP]

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

New Zealand’s successful fight against COVID-19 has made the Pacific island nation of five million one of the safest places in the world right now, Reuters News Agency reported.

New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.

“Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield warned.

New Zealand has 23 active cases in managed isolation facilities, and had 1,219 COVID-19 cases overall.

05:24 GMT – Qatar posts 97.15 percent coronavirus recovery rate

Qatar has posted a 97.15 percent recovery rate out of its 112,650 coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. 

Of that total number of cases, 109,438 cases have recovered, with 182 total deaths as of Sunday.

04:51 – Saudi Arabia records 1,467 new coronavirus cases

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recorded 1,467 new coronavirus cases, pushing the total number of infections in the country to 287,262. 

Al Arabiya quoted the health ministry as saying on Sunday that 37 people have died from the disease, bringing the death toll nationwide to 3,130.

A total of 250,440 of the patients have recovered, according to the report.

04:15 GMT – Singapore marks 55th National Day amid the coronavirus pandemic

National Day - Singapore
A gun fires during a gun salute at the National Day Parade, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Singapore on Sunday [Edgar Su/Reuters]

Singapore marked its 55th National Day on Sunday, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong calling for “unity and resilience” to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

In his speech, Lee warned the pandemic is “far from over” and that the number of cases in the country can still rise “despite all our precautions”.

Amid the health scare, Singapore Airforce (RSAF) planes flew past the city, and the review guard fired their guns in a salute to the nation.

Singapore has more than 54,000 cases and 27 deaths. At least 48,500 of the patients have recovered.

03:30 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 555 to 215,891

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 555 to 215,891, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,196, the tally showed.

03:00 GMT – South Korea reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

South Korea
Medical residents attend a 24-hour strike in Seoul amid the coronavirus disease pandemic to protest against a government plan to increase medical school admissions by 400 a year for the next decade [Yonhap via Reuters]

South Korea’s new coronavirus cases inched up to 36, with 30 local infections, raising the total numver to 14,598, Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday quoting the country’s health agency.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that of the new locally transmitted cases, 25 were reported in densely populated Seoul and nearby metropolitan areas, where around half of the country’s 50-million population resides.

The country reported one more coronavirus-related death, brining the total to 305.

The number of patients fully cured of the virus reached 13,642, up 13 from the previous day, representing 93.45 percent of the total cases.

02:22 GMT – China reports 23 new COVID-19 cases in mainland

China has reported 23 new coronavirus cases in the mainland as of the end of August 8, down from 31 a day earlier, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday quoting the country’s health authority.

Among the new cases, 15 were locally transmitted and eight were imported infections, the National Health Commission said in a statement published on its website.

Some 45 people were discharged on Saturday and there are still 817 active cases in the country, including 43 severe cases.

The total number of infections in mainland China now stands at 84,619, with the death toll unchanged at 4,634.

01:45 GMT – Mexico stops bleeding jobs during pandemic, president says

Mexico has started getting people back to work again in August after losing 1.1 million formal jobs between March and July due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters news agency reported quoting President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

“We’ve stopped losing jobs,” Lopez Obrador said in a video posted on YouTube. “So far in August almost 15,000 new jobs have been created.”

Citing data from Mexico’s Social Security Institute, Lopez Obrador said 1.1 million formal jobs were lost between March and July, with the nadir in April with some 555,000 losses. That slowed to 3,900 formal job losses in July, he said.

The bulk of Mexicans work in the informal economy, and they have borne the brunt of job losses triggered by the pandemic’s effects on Latin America’s second-largest economy.

Health workers - Mexico
Health workers ride a boat on a canal in Xochimilco on their way to collect samples door-to-door to test for COVID-19 in Mexico City [Eduardo Verdugo/AP]

01:15 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus death tally exceeds 52,000, cases above 475,900

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 6,495 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 695 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 475,902 cases and 52,006 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

Officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the United States and Brazil.

00:05 GMT – US sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million

The United States set a record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, with more than five million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country’s top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year’s end.

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the US leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has also recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total.

The latest development comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

00:01 GMT – Brazil coronavirus death toll hits 100,000

Brazil’s coronavirus deaths have surpassed 100,000 deaths five months after the first reported case in a sign that the country has not contained the deadly disease.

The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since late May and reported 905 for the latest 24-hour period.

The health ministry said there had been a total of 3,012,412 confirmed infections with the new coronavirus – death and infection tolls second only to the US. As in many nations, experts believe that both numbers are severe undercounts due to insufficient testing.


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 yesterday, August 8, go here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies