- French health authorities reported 10,561 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, a new daily record as the number topped 10,000 for the first time since wide-scale testing was launched in the country.
British clinical trials for the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have resumed following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority that it was safe to do so. Clinical trials were suspended this week due to an illness in a study subject in the UK.
- More than 28.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and nearly 916,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 19.2 million patients have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, September 12
23:25 GMT – Vatican says return to in-person masses ‘urgent’
The Vatican says its “necessary and urgent” to return to in-person Masses as soon as anti-coronavirus measures permit.
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The head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, Cardinal Robert Sarah, says in a letter to bishops’ conferences Saturday that virtual liturgies, while useful, were no replacement for the real thing.
He says physical presence by the faithful in churches was “vital, indispensable, irreplaceable.”
While some Catholic priests claimed coronavirus lockdowns that shuttered churches infringed on their religious liberty, Pope Francis adhered to Italy’s strict lockdown.
21:38 GMT – UN steps up COVID-19 measures at Syrian refugee camps in Jordan
The UN refugee agency is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 among tens of thousands of Syrians in camps in Jordan after the first cases were confirmed last week, the head of the agency in the country said.
The UNHCR confirmed three cases in the country’s largest camp for Syrian refugees, Zaatari, near the border with Syria, and two cases in a smaller camp, Azraq.
The infections in the two camps that house a total of about 120,000 refugees were the first confirmed cases since the pandemic was first reported in the kingdom last March.
21:15 GMT – Turkey reports 1,500 new coronavirus cases
Turkey reported 1,509 more coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s overall infection count to 289,635, according to the Health Ministry data.
The number of COVID-19 fatalities in Turkey increased by 48 over the past day, reaching 6,999.
The number of patients in critical condition now stands at 1,241, the data showed.
20:20 GMT – Israeli protesters keep up pressure on Netanyahu over corruption
Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem over his alleged corruption and the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The crowd rallied outside Netanyahu’s residence, blowing whistles, waving signs and flags and calling for his resignation. Smaller protests were held along bridges at major intersections in cities across Israel.
Israeli media estimated that about 10,000 people attended what has become a weekly demonstration in Jerusalem.
The protests built up over the summer as COVID-19 cases spiked.
18:33 GMT – French daily COVID-19 cases hit new record
French health authorities reported 10,561 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, a new daily record as the number topped 10,000 for the first time.
A previous record of 9,843 new infections had been reported on Thursday. The death toll since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak this year in French hospitals and nursing homes has reached 30,910, with 17 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, it added.
Officials have become increasingly concerned about the infection figures, even if the death toll and admissions to intensive care are well below the highs recorded in March and April.
17:58 GMT – Angola doctors march against virus-linked police violence
Hundreds marched in Angola’s capital Luanda to protest against police brutality after a doctor caught breaching anti-coronavirus rules died in custody.
Police claim Silvio Dala, 35, suffered a heart attack after he was arrested for driving without a face mask on September 1. But questions were raised after Dala’s body was sent to the morgue covered in blood with scarring to his head.
The doctor is believed to be the latest victim of security forces violently enforcing lockdown rules in the impoverished southwest African country.
17:36 GMT – Coronavirus kills businessman uncle of Syria’s al-Assad
Syrian businessman Mohamad Makhlouf, uncle of President Bashar al-Assad and father of top tycoon Rami Makhlouf, died of COVID-19, two sources close to his family told AFP.
Makhlouf, 88, the maternal uncle of al-Assad, was once seen as a pillar of the regime of Hafez al-Assad, the late father of the current president.
His grandson, also called Mohamad Makhlouf, mourned his death in a message posted on Instagram.
Makhlouf, one of the most prominent Syrian businessmen during the 1970s and 80s, was taken to hospital in the capital Damascus on August 23, local media reported.
16:41 GMT – French PM to end self-isolation after another negative COVID-19 test
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has tested negative for COVID-19 again and will come out of self-isolation, a week after being in contact with someone who had a positive result, his office said.
Castex had already tested negative for COVID-19 since sharing a car last weekend with the director of the Tour de France cycle race, who later tested positive.
On Friday the prime minister outlined plans to speed up testing and toughen measures in certain cities as the government seeks to avoid a repeat of the nationwide lockdown earlier this year.
16:08 GMT – UK records 3,497 more confirmed cases of COVID-19
The United Kingdom reported 3,497 confirmed new cases of COVID-19, according to government data, compared with 3,539 a day earlier.
It also reported nine more deaths from the coronavirus.
Friday’s figure was the largest number of daily cases to be reported since mid-May, and the UK is to bring in a new ban on social gatherings on Monday to curb the rise in infections.
15:32 GMT – Myanmar residents barricade city streets as coronavirus cases rise
Some residents of Myanmar’s biggest city used pieces of wood and corrugated iron to make barricades around their neighbourhoods, trying to keep out COVID-19 as the country grapples with the second wave of infections.
The Southeast Asian nation has reported a total of 2,625 coronavirus cases and 15 deaths. The number of infections has quadrupled since mid-August, when the virus resurfaced in the western state of Rakhine after weeks without a domestic case.
Last week, government authorities issued stay-at-home orders for residents, and airlines and buses suspended services in and out of the city.
15:09 GMT – Pfizer, BioNTech propose expanding COVID-19 vaccine trial
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE have proposed to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the enrollment of their phase three pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to up to about 44,000 participants, the companies said.
The initial target figure for the trial was up to 30,000 participants.
14:17 GMT – AstraZeneca resumes COVID-19 vaccine trial after UK green light
British clinical trials for the AstraZeneca and Oxford University coronavirus vaccine have resumed following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so, the company said.
The late-stage trials of the experimental vaccine, one of the most advanced in development, were suspended this week after an illness in a study subject in the UK.
“The standard review process triggered a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials to allow review of safety data by independent committees, and international regulators,” AstraZeneca said.
13:25 GMT – Oxygen gets scarce in parts of India as COVID-19 cases rise
Oxygen supply is getting scarce in some parts of India hard hit by coronavirus, hospital and local government officials said, as the country reported a record daily jump in cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections.
In some parts of the country, medical oxygen was becoming hard to find. Dr Amit Thadhani, medical director of Niramaya Hospitals in Panvel, a suburb of India’s financial capital Mumbai, said the shortage in his area was acute. “If we ask for 50 cylinders, we may get about five to seven,” he said.
An official from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation in a neighbouring suburb said they had received reports from multiple hospitals about dwindling oxygen supplies and made requests to state authorities.
Hello, this is Arwa Ibrahim, taking over the coronavirus live updates from my colleague Tamila Varshalomidze.
12:40 GMT – German national boxing team infected with coronavirus
The entire German national amateur boxing team has been infected with coronavirus at a training camp in Austria.
The infection affects 18 athletes as well as seven coaches and supervisors, sporting director Michael Mueller told the dpa news agency after Der Spiegel news magazine had first reported it.
“Fortunately, there are no serious cases. Some had mild symptoms such as sore throat while others felt nothing,” Mueller said.
12:20 GMT – Expert says UK ‘on edge of losing control’ of virus outbreak
As infection numbers surge in the United Kingdom, a leading health expert warned that the country is on the verge of losing control of the outbreak.
The UK recorded more than 3,500 new infections within a day on Friday, the highest level since mid-May.
“I think one would have to say that we’re on the edge of losing control,” Mark Walport of the UKRI, a research institute, told the BBC.
10:25 GMT – UAE reports 1,007 new cases, highest since outbreak
The United Arab Emirates reported 1,007 new cases of the coronavirus, its highest daily number since the pandemic broke out. The country conducted more than 95,000 tests and registered one death and 521 recoveries.
Until last month, there had been a generally falling trend after the UAE’s new daily cases peaked to 994 in May, but numbers have surged from 164 cases on August 3.
— WAM English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) September 12, 2020
10:00 GMT – Hungary daily cases near 1,000, schools to stay open
Hungary’s daily new coronavirus cases reached a record 916, by far the highest since the onset of the pandemic as schools reopened and strict measures that helped contain the pandemic in the spring have yet to be reinstated.
Even as cases rise, the number of people dying from the disease has remained fairly low, with two elderly patients with chronic pre-existing conditions dying from complications of the coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
The government’s coronavirus task force said active cases reached 7,134, but Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who attended a session of the task force early on Saturday, said schools can stay open and life must go on.
09:50 GMT – Taiwan plans to sign up for COVAX vaccine allocation scheme
Taiwan will sign up to the COVAX global vaccine allocation plan to ensure it will be able to access a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available, the island’s health minister said.
Chen Shih-chung told reporters in Taipei that the government had engaged lawyers to enter discussions about signing onto the scheme. Taiwan is also researching its own vaccine, a process Chen said was going smoothly.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX facility, aimed at helping buy and fairly distribute vaccination shots against the novel coronavirus around the world.
08:45 GMT – Indonesia reports 3,806 new coronavirus cases
Indonesia has reported 3,806 new coronavirus infections and 106 deaths, data from the health ministry website has shown.
Saturday marked the fifth consecutive day that Indonesia registered daily infections of more than 3,000, bringing the total number of cases to 214,746.
Total COVID-19 deaths rose to 8,650, the highest in Southeast Asia.
08:40 GMT – Philippines reports 186 more coronavirus deaths, record daily toll
The Philippine health ministry reported 186 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus, a new daily record and the highest single-day fatality rate recorded so far in Southeast Asia.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have increased to 4,292, while confirmed cases rose by 4,935 to 257,863. The Philippines has the most COVID-19 infections in the region.
08:35 GMT – Spanish princess quarantined after classmate diagnosed with COVID-19
Princess Leonor, the heir to the Spanish throne, has gone into quarantine after a classmate at her school tested positive for COVID-19, the royal household said.
The 14-year-old daughter of King Felipe will be tested for coronavirus like other pupils in her class at the Santa Maria de los Rosales school in Madrid.
The king and Queen Letizia will continue their royal duties for the moment, a spokesman for the royal household said, as Spain struggles to control a surge in coronavirus cases.
07:20 GMT – Czech Republic reports record one-day rise in new cases
The Czech Republic reported its largest one-day rise so far in new coronavirus infections, recording 1,447 cases, according to health ministry data.
The country has seen one of the biggest spikes in cases among European countries in recent weeks.
It tightened restrictions on mask-wearing this week although it aims to avoid bringing back measures that would hurt businesses.
07:10 GMT – Crowds rally in New Zealand’s Auckland against lockdown
Large crowds rallied in Auckland against the government’s social distancing restrictions imposed on the country’s largest city after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus last month.
Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people.
“We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights,” the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organisers of the protest, as saying.
Hello, this is Tamila Varshalomidze in Doha, Qatar, taking over the live updates from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
05:23 GMT – India reports record daily jump for second straight day
India reported a record daily jump in coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day, logging 97,570 new infections, according to data from the federal health ministry.
With total cases of more than 4.65 million, India is the world’s second-worst affected country, trailing only the United States, which has more than 6.4 million cases.
But the growth in infections in India is faster than anywhere else in the world, with cases surging through urban and rural areas of some large, populous states.
04:10 GMT – Australia coronavirus deaths pass 800
Deaths related to the novel coronavirus in Australia reached 803, but new daily infections in the country’s largest hotspot of Victoria continued to fall.
Victoria state reported six new deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 716, or more than 90 percent of all deaths in Australia.
However, new cases in the country’s second-most populous state continued to fall from a peak of more than 700 in a single day in early August. It reported 37 new cases on Saturday, its lowest since late June.
03:25 GMT – US budget deficit hits record $3 trillion
The US budget deficit hit an all-time high of $3 trillion for the first 11 months of this budget year, the Treasury Department said, as a result of the government’s massive spending to try to cushion the impact of a coronavirus-fuelled recession.
The deficit from October through August is more than double the previous 11-month record of $1.37 trillion set in 2009. At that time the US government was spending large sums to get out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis.
With one month to go in the 2020 budget year, which ends on September 30, the deficit could go even higher. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the deficit this year will hit a record $3.3 trillion.
02:24 GMT – Canada reports zero COVID-19 deaths for first time since March
Canada reported zero COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours for the first time since March 15, according to public health agency data.
Canada’s death toll from the pandemic stood at 9,163 as of September 11, the same as the number of the deaths reported on September 10, government data showed. The number of positive cases rose by 702 to 135,626 on September 11 from the previous day, the data showed.
01:37 GMT – US expelled 8,800 migrant children under coronavirus rules
Donald Trump’s administration has expelled about 8,800 unaccompanied migrant children intercepted at the US-Mexico border since March 20 under rules seeking to limit the spread of the new coronavirus in the US, according to court documents.
The Justice Department filing to the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals said the Trump administration had expelled 159,000 migrants overall, and 7,600 family units.
The border rules, implemented on March 21, scrap decades-old practices under laws meant to protect children from human trafficking and offer them a chance to seek asylum in a US immigration court.
01:09 GMT – Mexico tops 70,000 COVID-19 deaths
The confirmed coronavirus death toll in Mexico has surpassed 70,000 after the government reported 534 new deaths in the past 24 hours.
Making matters worse, excess mortality data from mid-March through early August indicates that the total number of deaths beyond the official count is likely tens of thousands higher.
Mexico also reported 5,935 new infections, bring its total caseload to 658,299.
00:35 GMT – UN General Assembly calls for solidarity to overcome pandemic
The United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution on tackling COVID-19, calling for “intensified international cooperation and solidarity to contain, mitigate and overcome the pandemic”.
The resolution, adopted by a vote of 169-2, also urged member states “to enable all countries to have unhindered timely access to quality, safe, efficacious and affordable diagnosis, therapeutics, medicines and vaccines”.
The resolution, which is not legally binding was approved over objections from the US and Israel, which protested against a successful last-minute Cuban amendment that strongly urges countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions.
00:01 GMT – England’s coronavirus cases double every week
A study of coronavirus infection in England showed that the epidemic is doubling every seven to eight days, with an increase in positive cases in all age groups below the age of 65.
The finding came in a study of more than 150,000 volunteers, who were tested between August 22 and September 7, by Imperial College London and polling firm Ipsos MORI.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the pandemic is “not over, and everyone has a role to play to keep the virus at bay”.
Separately, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which advises the UK government, said the virus’s reproduction rate is now between 1.0 and 1.2, meaning anyone with the virus is infecting, on average, a little more than one other.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
For all the key developments from yesterday, September 11, go here.