World ‘dangerously unprepared’ for next pandemic: Live news
Global Preparedness Monitoring Board said coronavirus pandemic is ‘providing a harsh test of the world’s preparedness’.
Global health monitor Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GBMB) said the world is doing far too little to prepare for the future and to prevent such disasters.
The World Health Organization has reported a record-breaking number of coronavirus cases worldwide, with at least 307,930 cases confirmed in just one day.
Victoria, the second-most populous state in Australia and the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, has reported 35 new cases – the lowest daily rise in three months.
- More than 28.9 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and more than 922,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 19.5 million people have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, September 14
22:54 GMT – No deaths in Australia’s Victoria for first time in two months
Victoria, the Australian state at the centre of Australia’s latest coronavirus outbreak, has reported no deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in two months.
The state confirmed 42 new cases in a 24-hour-period, compared with 35 the previous day.
22:40 GMT – Brazil registers 15,155 new cases
Brazil registered 15,115 new cases of coronavirus, totalling 4,345,610, the health ministry said. Deaths rose by 381 to 131,625 according to ministry data.
20:40 GMT – Turkey’s virus deaths rise to levels not seen since May
Turkey’s daily coronavirus deaths have topped its numbers from early May, with 63 fatalities in the past 24 hours.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases to stands at nearly 293,000 since March. The death toll now is 7,119, but experts say all numbers undercount the true impact of the coronavirus pandemic due to limited testing and missed mild cases, among other factors.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca tweeted that the rate of infections was not slowing and urged people to take precautions. Turkey eased restrictions like temporary weekend lockdowns at the end of May and reopened businesses and travel routes in June.
20:25 GMT – US officials: 500,000 counterfeit N95 masks seized in Chicago
About 500,000 counterfeit N95 respirator masks have been seized in Chicago by Customs and Border Protection officers, federal officials said.
The shipment of masks from China was seized on September 10 at O’Hare International Airport, according to the federal agency. It said the masks were headed to a company in Manalapan, New Jersey. The masks are used to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“These masks did not meet the safety standards outlined by the CDC, which puts the public at risk, jeopardising the health and well-being of everyone,” said Shane Campbell, port director for the Chicago area.
20:00 GMT – US eases China travel warning, citing virus progress
The United States has eased its warning against travel to China, acknowledging that the nation had made progress against COVID-19 despite frequent US criticism of its pandemic role.
The State Department still urges its citizens to reconsider travel to China, but it upgraded its advice from a blanket warning not to go to the country.
The People’s Republic of China “has resumed most business operations (including day cares and schools),” the State Department said.
“Other improved conditions have been reported within the PRC,” it said.
19:30 GMT – Jordan to close mosques, restaurants and schools for two weeks
Mosques, restaurants, street markets and most schools will be closed for two weeks starting on Thursday in Jordan, amid an “unprecedented” increase in coronavirus infections and deaths in the kingdom.
These measures will help to avoid a total lockdown, government spokesman Amjad al-Adaileh said.
In recent days, Jordan has reported more than 200 cases and several deaths every day, a record high it avoided earlier in the year due to a tight lockdown.
“Despite previous warnings, we have seen recklessness and complacency that unfortunately led to dozens of cases in different provinces across the kingdom. So, concerned authorities will take very strict measures against those who violate” the rules, al-Adaileh said in a televised address.
19:00 GMT – Canada’s Trudeau worried about uptick in virus cases
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned that Canada was “not out of the woods” with the coronavirus, urging citizens to be vigilant as more than 1,300 cases were recorded over the weekend – a level not seen since early summer.
“One of the things we’re seeing is, with numbers rising across the country, we are not out of the woods,” Trudeau told a press conference in Ottawa.
He said the resumption of classes and the reopening of the Canadian economy, meaning more people are back to work, had led to an increase in case numbers.
18:30 GMT – UAE announces emergency approval for use of COVID-19 vaccine
The United Arab Emirates has granted emergency approval for use of a coronavirus vaccine, six weeks after human trials in the country started.
A phase III trial of a COVID-19 inactivated vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopham began in the UAE in July and is yet to be completed.
“The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus,” said the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in a tweet.
The clinical trials for the third phase are continuing under the strict supervision of medical teams, while following all measures to control the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine.#CommitToWin
— NCEMA UAE (@NCEMAUAE) September 14, 2020
18:00 GMT – Testing positive: half of Argentina’s coronavirus checks yield infection
Argentina’s coronavirus “positive rate,” the number of daily infections to the number of tests carried out, has topped 50 percent, underscoring how much work the South American country has to do to bring the virus under control.
Health ministry data showed the country carried out 17,955 tests the day before, when it recorded 9,056 confirmed COVID-19 cases. That indicates a positive rate of 50.4 percent, one of the highest in the world.
The country, which has been trying to open its hard-hit economy, has a total of 555,537 confirmed cases, the tenth-highest case load in the world, with 11,412 fatalities.
17:30 GMT – Egypt to allow wedding ceremonies, cultural events in open-air venues
Egypt will allow wedding ceremonies and cultural events to be held in open-air venues from September 21, after months of banning them in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the cabinet said.
Open-air weddings would be allowed in tourist and hotel facilities that obtained health safety certificates, with a maximum of 300 invitees, it added in a statement.
These facilities would also be able to host meetings and conferences with not more than 150 participants, it said.
Cultural exhibitions, including book fairs, would be allowed in open-air venues with a maximum attendance of 50 percent of capacity, the statement said.
17:00 GMT – UK reports 2,621 new cases of COVID-19
A total of 2,621 new positive cases were recorded across the United Kingdom, Public Health England said.
The new cases take the cumulative total number of cases to 371,125.
Public Health England also said nine new deaths had been reported, taking the UK total since the start of the pandemic to 41,637
16:35 GMT – World dangerously unprepared for next pandemic: monitor
In a new report, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), an independent body created by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, decried that the coronavirus pandemic had revealed how little the world had focused on preparing for such disasters, despite ample warnings that large disease outbreaks were inevitable.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is providing a harsh test of the world’s preparedness,” the report said, concluding that little progress had been made on any of the actions it had called for in its initial report last year, before COVID-19 struck.
“Failure to learn the lessons of COVID-19 or to act on them with the necessary resources and commitment will mean that the next pandemic, which is sure to come, will be even more damaging,” it warned.
15:45 GMT – Bayern Munich offers free virus tests to fans
German football club Bayern Munich has offered free coronavirus tests to fans with tickets for next week’s Super Cup in Hungary.
The Hungarian authorities require fans arriving for the traditional European season opener to have a certified negative result from a recent test for the virus before they are allowed into the country.
The club says 3,000 Bayern fans with tickets for the game can be tested on September 21 and 22 at a car park next to the stadium.
15:15 GMT – Russia completes volunteer recruitment for COVID-19 vaccine trial
Russia has recruited sufficient participants for its large-scale COVID-19 vaccine trial, known as a Phase III trial, according to the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which is backing the vaccine.
“In just two weeks, 55,000 volunteers have already been recruited in Moscow,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Russia began recruiting for what was billed as a 40,000-strong Phase III trial on August 26. Initial results are expected in October or November this year.
14:50 GMT – At least 1.7 million jobs lost in Kenya due to coronavirus fallout
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics estimates that around 1.7 million people have been made redundant due to the outbreak.
According to the Fedreration of Kenya Employers (FKE), a total of 604 firms in Kenya have sent workers home due to the coronavirus fallout.
Speaking to Kenya’s local daily the Nation, the FKE said at least 33 jobs were lost in every modern sector company between March and August 2020.
“The worst is yet to come as workers continue to grapple with the impact of the pandemic, especially the consequences of the abrupt shutting down of economic activities,” Jacqueline Mugo, the FKE executive director, said.
14:20 GMT – Romania reopens schools under strict rules as coronavirus cases rise
Romania has reopened more than 17,000 schools for 2.8 million children after a six-month closure to fight the coronavirus outbreak, ordering pupils to wear face masks as infections rise.
With 104,000 cases, and new infections jumping above 1,000 a day since July, millions of teachers, students and parents face a tough challenge to adapt after months of online teaching at home.
President Klaus Iohannis urged students “to become super-heroes who wear the mask, wash hands and listen to their teachers, protect parents and grandparents, the most exposed to the danger of getting sick.”
13:50 GMT – Mnuchin says he will continue to work on COVID-19 deal
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said there could still be a deal with Congress for more federal coronavirus aid.
“I will continue to work on this. I’ve told the speaker I’m available anytime to negotiate, no conditions,” he told CNBC in an interview.
Efforts to provide additional financial aid amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic have stalled all summer even as the number of US cases continues to climb, now exceeding 6.5 million.
Democrats who control the House of Representatives passed their $3.4 trillion aid bill in mid-May. The Republican-led Senate failed to get traction on a $1 trillion counterproposal before taking up a slimmed-down $300bn measure last week that failed to pass.
Hello, this is Linah Alsaafin taking over the blog from my colleague Farah Najjar.
12:11 GMT – Pope Francis ‘constantly monitored’ for virus: Vatican
Pope Francis is being “constantly monitored” for signs of the coronavirus, a top Vatican official said, after the 83-year old pontiff met with a cardinal who later tested positive.
Philippine cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, 63, had a private audience with Francis on August 29. He went on to test positive for COVID-19 on his return to Manila on September 10.
“We are being prudent,” Secretary of State Pietro Parolin told ANSA news agency.
“There is no particular alarm [in the Vatican]”, but the health of the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was being “constantly monitored,” he added.
Pope Francis, whose birth name is Jorge Bergoglio, has shown little fear for his own health since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic early this year.
12:04 GMT – Scotland says concerned about coronavirus testing backlog
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was concerned about a backlog of coronavirus test results which was starting to affect the swift reporting of the state of the national outbreak.
“We now have a very serious concern about the backlog of test results being faced by the UK lab network,” Sturgeon told reporters. “This apparent delay in turnaround is causing us concern.”
11:14 GMT – UK’s opposition Labour leader Starmer is self-isolating
The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, is self-isolating after a member of his household showed COVID-19 symptoms.
“The member of his household has now had a test,” a Labour spokeswoman said. “In line with National Health Service guidelines, Keir will self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test and further advice from medical professionals.”
10:45 GMT – Eli Lilly’s rheumatoid arthritis drug helps recovery in COVID-19 patients
Eli Lilly and Co said its rheumatoid arthritis drug Olumiant helped reduce the time taken to recover from COVID-19 in hospitalized patients in a clinical trial.
The US drugmaker said the drug, in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir, met the main goal of shortening recovery when compared to remdesivir alone.
10:41 GMT – India’s parliament meets after six months as COVID cases surge
India’s parliament met for the first time in six months, as coronavirus cases across the country rose by more than 90,000 in the space of a day and the total number of infections neared 5 million.
Members, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, wore masks and sat in seats enclosed by glass partitions designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
The assembly’s hours have been truncated; the lower house will sit in the morning and the upper house in the afternoon.
“There can be no laxity when there is no medicine. We hope that a vaccine is available soon, whichever part of the world it comes from,” Modi said in remarks to the media before the session began.
Federal Home Minister Amit Shah, Modi’s close aide, was absent from Monday’s session. He spent most of August in hospital after contracting the virus, and returned to hospital over the weekend for what hospital authorities said was a check-up.
09:48 GMT – Sweden drops travel restrictions to Britain despite pick up in cases
Sweden took Britain off its red-list of countries it advises citizens not to travel to, despite a pick-up in new coronavirus cases and restrictions on public gatherings.
Swedes can now travel freely to most European destinations, though Finland, Ireland, the Baltic countries and Malta remain on the red-list.
Britain recorded its highest daily rate of new infections since mid-May last week and gatherings of more than six people were banned across most of the country from Monday.
09:28 GMT – Italy’s schools finally reopen after six-month closure
After a six-month shutdown, the longest in Europe, Italy reopened most of its schools, testing the organisational skills of the government, the nerves of teachers and the self-control of excited students.
Schools in 13 of the country’s 20 regions cautiously resumed face-to-face lessons, calling back 5.6 million students to their desks. The remaining seven regions have decided to delay for another week.
Battling to halt the spread of coronavirus, the government shut the nation’s schools in early March. Efforts to make classrooms safe again and limit the possibility of fresh contagion have been mired in controversy.
“At the beginning there are going to be problems,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
In Italy, about 35,500 people have died of COVID-19, the largest death toll in the European Union, and the number of new cases has picked up recently raising fears of a second wave.
08:47 GMT – Indonesia reports 3,141 new infections, 118 deaths
Indonesia reported 3,141 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 221,523, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.
The data added 118 new deaths, taking the total to 8,841, the highest death toll in Southeast Asia.
08:46 GMT – Philippines reports another record spike in daily coronavirus deaths
The Philippines reported a record daily increase in new coronavirus deaths for the second time in three days, adding 259 more fatalities to bring the total to 4,630.
In a bulletin, the health ministry said the Southeast Asian country also recorded 4,699 newly-confirmed cases, taking its total infections to 265,888, the highest in the region.
07:38 GMT – Spain to extend furlough scheme into 2021, Labour Minister says
The Spanish government is considering extending the nationwide ERTE furlough scheme that guarantees workers part of their income into 2021, Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said.
“The date is open, but likely [December 31] would not be the most adequate and we have to extend a little beyond,” Diaz said in an interview on Spanish state TV station.
She added the extension might be longer for different industries. She said for instance the tourism industry would benefit from the scheme so long as they need it.
07:28 GMT – Crowded Marseille soccer celebrations condemned by French minister
French interior minister Gerald Darmanin criticised Olympique Marseille’s (OM) fans for celebrating en masse on the streets of the city after Marseille beat Paris Saint Germain (PSG), given the risks from the COVID-19 virus in France.
“One can only condemn the images that we are seeing,” Darmanin told LCI television, when shown TV footage of hordes of Marseille supporters partying after the win in close proximity to one another, with many not wearing masks.
Last week, French Prime Minister Jean Castex singled out Marseille and Bordeaux as among the mainland French cities hardest hit by the resurgence of the COVID virus in France.
Marseille’s hospitals have also been put back on a crisis footing as the virus has started to spread again in France, which has the world’s seventh-highest COVID-19 death toll.
06:43 GMT – Japan will not play again in 2020 due to COVID-19 – JRFU
Japan’s national rugby union team will not play again this year because of safety fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese Rugby Football Union (JRFU) said.
Japan, who had games against England and Wales cancelled earlier this year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, were due to play Scotland and Ireland in November.
06:20 GMT – Scheffler out of US Open after positive COVID-19 test
Scottie Scheffler has withdrawn from this week’s US Open after testing positive for COVID-19, the United States Golf Association (USGA) said.
The 24-year-old American, who is a contender for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, finished fourth at last month’s PGA Championship and fifth two weeks ago at the Tour Championship.
The world number 29 shot a sizzling 59 en route to a fourth-place finish in the FedExCup playoffs opener at TPC Boston.
“We are sorry to lose a member of the USGA family in this year’s field,” said the USGA senior managing director John Bodenhamer. “We look forward to welcoming him back to the US Open for many years to come.”
Scheffler will be replaced in the field by South African Branden Grace.
06:18 GMT – Czech Republic’s daily count of cases drops below 1,000 after 5 days
The Czech Republic recorded 792 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a drop after five consecutive days with more than 1,000 cases each, Health Ministry’s data showed.
The ministry has not yet updated the daily number of tests. There are usually fewer tests done at weekends.
The overall number of confirmed cases rose to 36,188 in the country of 10.7 million.
06:15 GMT – Oct, Nov to be ‘tougher’ with more coronavirus deaths: WHO Europe
The World Health Organization expects Europe to see a rise in the daily number of COVID-19 deaths in October and November, the head of the body’s European branch told AFP news agency.
“It’s going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality,” WHO Europe director Hans Kluge said, as the continent currently experiences a surge of cases though the number of deaths has remained relatively stable.
Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.
05:45 GMT – India reports 92,071 new coronavirus cases; deaths near 80,000
India’s health ministry reported on Monday at least 92,071 new cases of the coronavirus, taking total cases to 4.85 million.
The figure is slightly lower than the more than 94,000 cases reported on Sunday, but India continues to report cases over 90,000 for days.
More than 1,100 deaths were also reported, taking the death toll to almost 80,000.
05:18 GMT – Ethnic groups in Myanmar’s Rakhine fear army more than COVID-19
Amid the coronavirus virus pandemic, which has infected almost 3,000 people in Myanmar, ethnic groups in Rakhine state are fearing the miliary onslaught more than the spread of the disease.
According to reports obtained by Al Jazeera, more than 100 houses in two villages had been razed, forcing as many as 8,000 villages to flee their homes.
An estimated three million people of Rakhine are caught in the intensifying armed conflict between the military – known as the Tatmadaw – and the Arakan Army (AA), an ethnic armed group.
To read more details, click here.
05:00 GMT – Doctors in Indonesia fight spread of fake news on COVID-19
The Doctors Without Borders (also known as MSF) has called on the Indonesian government to step up education regarding the spread of the coronavirus in the country, saying that the spread of rumours and fake news is creating “panic” in many communities.
“We needed to help them find a way to educate and inform the community quickly and on a large scale. Fear can be just as harmful as COVID-19,” said Dr Dirna Mayasari, the MSF deputy medical coordinator in Indonesia.
MSF said that in one community in South Jakarta, for example, villagers “were so confused” after receiving inaccurate information, some of which are “defined as fake news” regarding the spread of the deadly disease.
04:40 GMT – 10 new COVID-19 cases reported in China
China’s National Health Commission has reported 10 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country’s confirmed cases to 85,194.
In a statement on Monday, the commission also said that there were no additional fatalities reported keeping the death toll unchanged at over 4,600.
China also reported 39 new asymptomatic cases, which the government does not include in its total count.
04:10 GMT – Coronavirus panel slams failure to head warnings
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, a panel reviewing the response of the coronavirus pandemic, has denounced the collective failure by political leaders that led to the current “disorder”.
“Financial and political investments in preparedness have been insufficient, and we are all paying the price,” according to the report prepared by the panel organised by the World Bank and the World Health Organization.
“It is not as if the world has lacked the opportunity to take these steps,” it added. “There have been numerous calls for action … over the last decade, yet none has generated the changes needed.”
You can read more on that story here.
03:35 GMT – Doctors oppose easing of social-distancing rules in the Philippines
Doctors in the Philippines have expressed opposition to the government’s plan to easing physical distancing regulations in the country, saying it is too early to relax the rules.
In an online forum on Monday, Dr Antonio Dans, a leading expert on the country’s university health care law, said that the department of transportation should not change its rule of one metre between passengers, as it could lead to more transmission.
The government plans to gradually reduce social distancing rules on public transportation to just half a metre on September 28 and 0.3 meters on October 12 to increase capacity of trains and buses. The country has over 261,000 cases and at least 4,371 deaths due to the pandemic.
03:05 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 927 to 260,355
Germany’s monitor for infectious diseases has reported that the country’s COVID-19 cases have gone up by 927 to 260,355.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) also reported on Monday that the death toll rose by one to 9,350.
02:50 GMT – Israel to reinstate lockdown
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the country will reinstate a strict new countrywide lockdown this week amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
Starting on Friday, schools, restaurants, malls and hotels among other businesses will shut down and restrictions on movement will be imposed.
The lockdown is expected to last at least three weeks, when measures may be eased depending on the rate of increase of cases and fatalities. Israel has over 155,000 cases and around 1,100 deaths.
02:01 GMT – Saudi to lift international restrictions Tuesday
Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry has announced that it will partially lift restrictions on international flights beginning on Tuesday, six months after travel curbs were imposed due to the pandemic.
After January 1, Saudl will also end all restrictions on air, land and sea transport for Saudi citizens, but the exact date will be announced later in December.
According to Saudi Press Agency, non- Saudi residents with valid travel documents can enter Saudi as long as they are free of the virus.
01:42 GMT – New Zealand to lift most of coronavirus curbs on September 21
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that coronavirus restrictions across the country will be lifted on September 21, except in its biggest city of Auckland which is the epicentre of a second wave of infections.
Ardern said Auckland’s restrictions would be reviewed next week.
01:25 GMT – Trump indoor rally plan prompts virus warning
US President Donald Trump was due to hold his first fully indoor rally in months in the state of Nevada, but authorities warned the gathering could violate coronavirus restrictions on crowd sizes.
Indoor rallies during the pandemic have proven problematic for Trump, who was heavily criticised after one in June that was later linked to a spike in virus cases.
Plans for the rally in the Nevada city of Henderson on Sunday drew a rebuke from local authorities who noted events with more than 50 people are not allowed due to the coronavirus, according to Reuters news agency.
01:02 GMT – South Korea reports decline in new cases with 109 testing positive
South Korea’s coronavirus monitoring agency reported on Monday at least 109 COVID-19 cases – the 12th straight day that infections stayed below 200.
Yonhap quoted the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency as saying that of the new cases reported, 98 were of domestic origin, with the overall total hitting 22,285.
Five more deaths were also reported, compared to three on Sunday, raising the death toll to 363.
00:45 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus deaths near 71,000
Mexico’s health ministry has reported reported 4,408 new coronavirus cases and 217 additional deaths, bringing the total number of infections to 668,381 and the death toll to 70,821 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely higher than the confirmed cases, and the country has also reported over 120,000 in excess deaths in recent months.
00:10 GMT – Australia’s Victoria sees lowest rise in COVID-19 cases
Victoria, the second-most populous state in Australia and the centre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, has reported its lowest number of new cases in three months.
The state reported 35 new cases on Monday, and seven deaths.
Melbourne has begun to ease some of the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 disease. Residents are now allowed to spend an additional two hours outside every day, and the city’s controversial overnight curfew has been shortened by one hour.
00:05 GMT – WHO reports record one-day increase in cases, up over 307,000
The World Health Organization has reported another record-breaking number of coronavirus cases, worldwide with at least 307,930 cases in just one day.
The previous record reported by WHO was 306,857 on September 6.
India, the United States and Brazil posted the highest number of cases, with India reporting over 94,300 cases on Sunday. Europe has also seen a resurgence of cases.
00:01 GMT – Greece reports 207 new COVID-19 cases as it prepares to reopen schools
Greek health authorities have reported 207 new coronavirus cases including 29 infections from abroad, with three more fatalities, as the country prepares to reopen its schools on Monday.
The total cases now stand at 13,240 and 305 deaths. Of the total number of cases, about three-quarters were recorded in August, with a median age of 39. Meanwhile, among the fatalities, the average age is 78.
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, September 13, go here.