Coronavirus latest: Donald Trump rebukes attack on Anthony Fauci | News | DW | 15.07.2020
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Coronavirus latest: Donald Trump rebukes attack on Anthony Fauci

After a White House official publicly slammed Anthony Fauci, US President Trump distanced himself from the attack and boasted his "very good relationship" with the medical expert. Follow DW for the latest.

  • President Trump rebukes White House advisor over column attacking Anthony Fauci

  • The European Commission advised member states to start flu vaccinations soon to stop hospitals being hit with flu and COVID-19 patients

  • Tokyo increases alert to highest level as cases rise

  • Infections in Germany near 200,000

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

23:19 American Airlines sent notices of potential furloughs to around 25,000 workers, saying that air travel was slowing down as coronavirus cases surged in the US. Warnings were sent to 2,500 pilots, nearly 10,000 flight attendants and 3,200 mechanics.

In a memo to employees, Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said that the airline would have 20,000 excess workers due to the downturn in the industry. They also said that layoffs may be minimized due to voluntary departures.

US airlines that have received government aid under the CARES Act cannot lay off workers until after September 30.

Read moreWill the coronavirus pandemic result in a pilot shortage?

Watch video 26:10

Wanderlust and fear. What's ahead for tourism?

21:13 Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has told reporters that he has once again tested positive for the coronavirus, a week after he announced he had become ill with COVID-19.

When it was initially announced that he had contracted the virus on July 7, Bolsonaro confirmed he would take another test in a few days. That test has now come back positive.

The Brazilian president has previously dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it a "little flu" even as Brazil's outbreak became the worst in the world outside the United States.

Read moreSchadenfreude in Brazil as Jair Bolsonaro gets coronavirus

21:09 Canada has managed to flatten the curve of the virus, and may soon be nearing zero deaths. The country has seen 8,798 COVID-19 fatalities so far, with the total number of cases at 108,486.

With provinces slowly reopening their economies, public health officials are expressing concern over the possibility of another spike, especially since Canada's southern neighbor, the US, is the world's worst-hit country. Nonessential travel to the US has been banned since March, but pressure is mounting on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to loosen restrictions.

Easing lockdown measures has also led to spikes in cases. Quebec's rise in numbers has been tracked down to house parties and the opening of a Montreal bar. Ontario saw an outbreak linked to a nail salon, and British Columbia saw a rise in cases as people began to socialize more.

21:05 Ireland is putting on hold plans to end its lockdown because of a spike in new infections, Prime Minister Micheal Martin has announced.

Ireland had been set to enter the fourth and final phase of relaxing its coronavirus restrictions this coming Monday. The most significant move would have seen all pubs and bars allowed to fully reopen, but that move has now been postponed.

Also on the agenda is the reopening of schools, due to take place towards the end of next month. But Martin said the reproductive rate of the virus "has now risen above one" and the priority now was to get that figure down. "By doing so, we will give ourselves the best chance possible to fully reopen our schools in late August," he added.

Read moreStale beer turned into animal feed and distance drinking: Irish pubs in the age of coronavirus

Watch video 43:25

Will the industrial world support the developing world in post-pandemic recovery?

20:30 Amazon employees who are able to work from home should continue working remotely until January 8 next year, said the e-commerce giant. In early May, the company imposed the remote working regime in order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, with the measure originally set to expire in early October this year.

"We continue to prioritize the health of our employees and follow local government guidance," a spokesperson for the company told US broadcaster CNBC.

Other digital giants, including Facebook, Google and Apple have similar policies in place. US media reported that Twitter told its employees they were free to work from home "forever" if they choose to do so.

Read moreStudy: Google, Amazon ad revenue funds pandemic disinformation

20:23 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced payments to "all citizens" to help reboot an economy battered by the coronavirus crisis.

Families with children are set to receive one-time payments of between 2,000 and 3,000 shekels, ($584-875, €511-767) depending on the number of children, Netanyahu said, adding that "all other citizens over the age of 18 will receive 750 shekels."

While some experts reportedly criticized the blanket measures for not differentiating between the rich and the poor, the prime minister said there was no time for prolonged debates amid a critical situation.

"This money will put the economy back on track faster," Netanyahu said. He expressed hope that the funds would reach the recipients in a matter of days.

The politician also denied his decision was linked with mass unrest during the weekend, which saw some 10,000 people protest over economic issues in Tel Aviv. Thousands of others rallied in front of Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence on Wednesday

19:23 US retailing giant Walmart will demand its customers to wear face masks in all of its 5.000 stores. The company will also impose the same rule on the shoppers at its Sam's Club venues, the chain of retail warehouse clubs owned by Walmart.

The policy is due to go into effect on Monday. The company said they would employ "health ambassadors" who would be stationed near the entrance to remind customers of the new rules and "help make the process as smooth as possible."

Over two-thirds of Walmart stores and clubs are already located in areas that have some government mandate on face coverings. However, imposing such a policy may prove controversial with segments of the US population who oppose wearing anti-pandemic masks.

Coffee shop chain Starbucks and retail chain Best Buy have already started enforcing mandatory face masks policies this week.

18:44 US President Donald Trump scolded trade advisor Peter Navarro for publishing an attack column against Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Navarro previously accused Fauci of being "wrong about everything I have interacted with him on", downplaying coronavirus concerns, opposing Trump's move to halt flights to China, and "flip-flopping on the use of masks."

Commenting on Navarro's column, Trump said his trade advisor "made a statement representing himself."

"He shouldn't be doing that," Trump said, referring to Navarro. "No, I have a very good relationship with Anthony [Fauci]."

"We're all on the same team, including Dr. Fauci," Trump told reporters.

Tensions between Fauci, the US top infectious disease official, and the White House escalated as Fauci opposes lifting lockdown measures too early. The medical expert is not briefing the president directly, instead directing his input through Vice President Mike Pence.

In an interview for The Atlantic, Fauci described the recent attacks as "a bit bizarre."

"I can't explain Peter Navarro," he said. "He's in a world by himself."

17:55 US top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci said efforts to discredit him are "a bit bizarre" after two White House advisors berated him. He added that the efforts were not prudent and reflected negatively on the White House.

Fauci called for the US to hit a reset button on its pandemic response, but said there was no need for a nationwide lockdown.

"I don't really fully understand it," he said in an interview with the US-based The Atlantic.

"I think if you talk to reasonable people in the White House they realize that was a major mistake on their part because it doesn't do anything bit reflect poorly on them," Fauci added. "And I don't think that was their intention."

Earlier in the day, White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah distanced the administration from the latest criticism on Fauci, which saw US trade advisor Peter Navarro publish an attack column in USA Today that said Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on."

Farah said the article was "the opinion of Peter alone."

17:28 Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen got married after repeatedly changing her wedding over political commitments and coronavirus concerns.

The leader, 42, was originally set to marry 55-year-old film director and photographer Bo Tengberg in summer 2019, before taking office, but the event had to be postponed due to the general election that saw Frederiksen organize a new government. The plans were then moved for early 2020, but then scrapped once more due to the coronavirus crisis. The couple later planned to marry on Saturday this week, but had to rush the ceremony ahead by a few days because EU leaders are set to meet on Friday and Saturday to discuss a coronavirus pandemic recovery deal. 

Mette Frederiksen wedding

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen weds partner

The two have known each other since 2014. Last month, Frederiksen described her partner as "very patient" and said she was "so looking forward to marrying this amazing man."

Frederiksen and Tengberg were married in a church on the Baltic island of Mon, where they own a holiday home.

17:05 The governor of the US state of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, tested positive for the coronavirus.
The 47-year-old politician said he was mostly fine, but felt "a little achy" on Tuesday, prompting him to get tested. He said his family also tested but the results came back negative.

Stitt, a Republican, endorsed lifting the lockdown and resisted any statewide push to make wearing masks mandatory.

"We respect people's rights... not to wear a mask," he said during an online press conference on Wednesday.

16:01 Germany's football officials pitched guidelines to let fans return to Bundesliga stadiums. The authorities had banned crowds due to the coronavirus outbreak, forcing Bundesliga teams to finish the previous season in front of empty stands. Now, however, the German Football League and the German Football Association presented a 41-page concept to the Health Ministry, hoping to get it approved before the new Bundesliga tournament starts in September.

The document includes provisions that would allow for full stadiums as long as the local community has fewer than five coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the previous seven days. If the number is between five and 35, some of the fans might be allowed onto the stands. The officials also recommended traveling to games on a bicycle, on foot, or in your own car instead of fan buses or public transport. They also called for splitting up arrivals and departures from the stadium "in regards to space and time."

"Now the key is that all Bundesliga clubs really live this concept and tailor it for their stadium with the respective local authorities," a ministry spokesman said.

15:33 The UK will hold an independent inquiry into the government's response to the pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged. Opposition leaders have been pushing the government into launching the probe, with the number of COVID-19 fatalities topping 45,000 and the infection tally nearing 293,000. The UK is the worst-hit Western European country.

"We will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future and certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened," Johnson told lawmakers. However, the UK Prime Minister did not specify when the probe would be launched, saying he didn't believe it was "the right moment to devote huge amounts of official time to an inquiry."

Previously, Johnson has repeatedly claimed his government made the right actions and at the right time. His rivals claim the Cabinet was too slow to impose a lockdown, as well as to establish mass testing mechanisms and deliver necessary equipment.

14:56 After a top White House advisor publicly slammed Anthony Fauci, the country's top infection diseases expert, the White House denied any connection with the attack.

US trade advisor Peter Navarro had said Fauci "has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on." Navarro's guest column for USA Today focuses solely on criticizing Fauci, saying the medical expert "fought against the president's courageous decision" to halt the flights from China and was "flip-flopping on the use of masks."

White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah, however, said that President Donald Trump "values the expertise of medical professionals" and distanced the administration from the piece.

"The Peter Navarro op-ed didn't go through normal White House clearance process and is the opinion of Peter alone," she said.

Fauci has been targeted by Trump allies for his warnings against reopening the country too quickly. Another senior White House official, Dan Scavino, also posted a cartoon attacking Fauci earlier this week.

14:34 Spanish authorities shut down a string of Mallorca venues that are usually frequented by British and German tourists. The shutter orders apply to all the pubs in the two streets in the island's capital of Palma, known to Germans as "Beer" and "Ham" streets. A similar ban was introduced at a street of Puerto Ballena in Magaluf, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) southwest of Palma, which is popular with UK visitors.

The regional tourism minister, Iago Negrueruela, described it as a preventive measure aimed at curbing the coronavirus spread. He said the ban was set to expire in the next two months, but it could be either "prolonged or shortened."

"We are so far probably among the safest destinations in Europe," Negrueruela was quoted as saying by the local German-language Mallorca Zeitung.

However, he pointed out to the outrage sparked by crowds of German and UK tourists dancing, drinking and partying in Palma and Magaluf over the weekend. By and large, the visitors did not wear face masks and did not follow social distancing rules.

Spain's Balearic Islands, which includes Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, are heavily dependent on tourism. In 2018, some 12 million people visited Mallorca, including 4.3 million Germans.

14:00 Russian scientists working on a potential coronavirus vaccine praised the results of the first clinical trial, describing their product as "safe" and capable of offering protection. A group of 18 volunteers from the ranks of the Russian military were injected on June 18 and spent the next four weeks isolated in a military hospital with daily checkups.

"Their immunity is working well, antibodies are being created, they protected against the coronavirus," scientist Svetlana Volchikhina said in a video published by the Defense Ministry.

The volunteers are set to return to the hospital in two weeks' time for their final medical examination.

A civilian group of 20 also received the potential vaccine on June 23. According to the Defense Ministry, clinical trials are expected to be completed by the end of the month. Pending the results, a larger-scale trial could start in mid-August.

Researchers around the world are racing to develop immunization against the coronavirus. Out of over 100 products being considered, 19 are in the human trials stage, with China's Sinopharm as well as a joint AstraZeneca and Oxford University closest to the finishing line. However, it remains uncertain if any of the immunizations would be ready for mass use before the end of the year.

13:25 Romania is set to extend its "state of alert" for another 30 days due to a spike in the number of infections, President Klaus Iohannis announced.

Iohannis imposed a strict lockdown across the country in March, and replaced a "state of emergency" in May with a less stringent "state of alert" in May. 

"The daily number of infections has exceeded 600. This is a lot, though we won't introduce new restrictions of course, we cannot talk about any sort of relaxation," he said. 

Romania has recorded 33,585 cases and nearly 2,000 deaths. Over the past 24 hours, it recorded 641 new cases.

13:00 Childhood immunizations against life-threatening diseases such as measles, tetanus, and diphtheria have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting millions of children at risk, warned United Nations agencies.

"The avoidable suffering and death caused by children missing out on routine immunizations could be far greater than COVID-19 itself," the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a joint report with child humanitarian body UNICEF.

Out of 82 countries surveyed, three-quarters reported coronavirus-related disruptions to their immunization programs as of May 2020.

At least 30 measles vaccination campaigns have been or are at risk of being canceled worldwide.

Measles outbreaks infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000 of them — mostly children, according to WHO data.

12:38 In Iran, 140 health workers have died of the novel coronavirus and thousands of others infected, said officials Wednesday, who urged Iranians to observe health measures.

"We all owe them our lives and to honor them, we must observe health protocols," Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in televised remarks. The loss of the health workers was "tragic," she added.

Iran has been battling a resurgence of the COVID-19 illness, with official figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.

Iran had recorded 199 in the past 24 hours, said Lari, taking the total death toll up 13,410.

A further 2,388 people had also tested positive for the COVID-19. The total number of confirmed cases stands at 262,173, according to the latest figures.

12:00 A coronavirus outbreak at a slaughterhouse in Austria has caused at least 29 infections.

All 244 employees at the site close to the Austrian town of Eggenburg have been ordered into quarantine.

The outbreak was discovered after one employee contacted a hotline to report coronavirus symptoms. The company then carried out further tests.

The results from 40 further tests are still expected.

Austria increased its testing of workers at meat production plants since, following a mass outbreak at a Tönnies slaughterhouse in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in June that led to more than 1,400 infections.

11:45 Disneyland Paris, Europe's biggest private tourist attraction, has reopened but with a ban on hugging the famous characters. There is also limited access to the amusement park.

Mickey, Pluto and other Disney figures greeted the first visitors with a socially distanced welcome as festive music played.

In line with new guidelines, all guests aged 11 and older must wear masks, and visitors must observe social distancing in queues and on rides.

Sanitizing hand gel has been made available at more than 2,000 distribution points across the park.

Close interactions, including hugs of Disney mascots, has been temporarily suspended, along with princess makeovers.

The daily parade of characters will also only return at a later date.

The reopening of the park came as the iconic Eiffel Tower in central Paris reopened its top level to visitors.

People on the Dumbo ride at Disneyland Paris

Rides reopened at Disneyland Paris but visitors aren't allowed to hug the characters in the park

11:15 Employees at supermarkets and drug stores in Germany aren't becoming infected with the coronavirus as quickly as was initially feared, a report by German newspaper Die Zeit has revealed. The percent of infections among supermarket and drug store employees is lower than the national average, said the report, which was based on self-reported figures from big German retailers. 

The drugstore company dm said 0.1% of its 41,000 employees had tested positive for COVID-19, while competitor Rossman reported 36 cases among its 33,400 workers. The supermarket chains Rewe and Kaufland said the percentage of their employees infected employees was below the national average.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, an average of 239 people per 100,000 inhabitants have become infected with COVID-19 since the outbreak began.

11:10 Greece is allowing flights from hard-hit Britain and is planning to allow flights from Sweden from next Wednesday, reported state broadcaster ERT.

The first charters from the UK have landed in Rhodes, Crete and Athens.

Britain has the third-highest coronavirus death toll in the world at 45,053 and the ninth highest total number of cases at 292,931.

Sweden stood out with its controversial coronavirus strategy, choosing to impose very few coronavirus measures.

Read more: Sweden starts to doubt its outlier coronavirus strategy

Greece has kept virus infections low, but the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Greece's tourism industry hard.

The Greek government has been pushing to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions and welcome back tourists as soon as possible. Germans are the country's most numerous visitors, followed by Britons.

Only half of the hotels are open, and bookings for August are at 15% from the corresponding month in 2019, reported the German press agency.

10:35 European Union member states should launch their flu vaccination programs earlier this year and target more people, advised the European Commission.

"Simultaneous outbreaks of seasonal influenza and COVID-19, would place a considerable strain on health systems," the Commission said in a document that lists actions needed to prepare for a possible large second wave of COVID-19.

The paper called on EU governments to bring forward flu vaccines to the summer. People in Europe usually get their annual flu shots in fall.

The Commission also called on states to test more people for coronavirus infections and set up efficient contact tracing systems.

10:15 Airlines are "on their knees" asking passengers for help over reimbursements for flights canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac said on French TV and radio station BFM Business.

Under EU law, airlines operating flights to and from Europe are meant to reimburse passengers for canceled flights within two weeks.  

But airline companies are making customers wait much longer to receive cash or are offering them vouchers instead.

The European Commission and consumer rights groups have opened a case against 10 EU member states, including France, for failing to enforce the EU reimbursement regulations.

The airline industry was still trying to convince the European Commission to allow it to use vouchers or give it more time to reimburse passengers, said de Juniac.

"Why are we asking for this? Not for fun. Our business is more to pamper passengers than to pose problems for them, in particular financial problems," he said.

But "the cash flow of airlines is in an apocalyptic situation," he added.

IATA said last month it expected the world's airlines to suffer $84 billion (€73.5 billion) in losses this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A row of planes parked away from terminals

Far fewer flights have been taking off, leaving airlines with a major drop in revenue

09:45 Copper and cobalt mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have one month to stop confining workers on site, the country's labor minister said in an open letter.

Workers have been kept away from their families by companies that want to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Company managers told employees to either stay and work or lose their jobs, civil society organizations said last month.

Mining companies must provide healthcare for workers and their families, as well as decent housing and a healthy diet for confined workers, Labor Minister Nene Ilunga Nkula said in a letter, dated July 13, that she shared on Twitter on Tuesday.

Congo is Africa's top copper producer and the world's main source of cobalt, accounting for two-thirds of global supplies of the metal used in smartphones and electric car batteries.

Mines Minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni has said full mine shutdowns would trigger a catastrophic economic and social crisis in the country.

Six workers at Glencore's Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mine in Lualaba province have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, KCC announced a week ago.

Latest figures for the DRC show 8,135 cases and 190 deaths from the virus.

08:15 Some 160,000 people in Spain's Catalonia returned to lockdown conditions as authorities work to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the region. The move comes just weeks after a nationwide lockdown was lifted.

Under the new rules, people may only leave their homes for essential activities like working or buying supplies, while hotels, restaurants and bars will close except for food pick-up or delivery.

Authorities have also asked residents of three neighborhoods near Barcelona to stay home but did not issue a mandatory order for the area.

After more than 28,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the Spanish government ended a national lockdown on June 21, saying it had dealt with the worst of the virus.

However, since then, more than 170 clusters have emerged around the country, prompting authorities to impose a patchwork of local restrictions that have left residents and business owners confused about what was permitted.

06:26 A hospital owner in Bangladesh has been arrested for allegedly helping to produce thousands of fake test reports, at his private health facilities in the capital Dhaka, police said.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) police unit arrested Mohammad Shahed, chairman of Regent Hospital Limited, at a remote village in a district bordering India as he was trying to cross the border, said RAB spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah.

Shahed had been on the run since his hospital was sealed off on July 7, and the facility's permission to carry out coronavirus tests was revoked, said Billah.

Nine of Shahed's employees had earlier been arrested after investigators found that over 6,000 false reports had been issued. The reports included both false positives and false negatives. Additionally, the facilities in question had collected huge fees from patients, despite an agreement with the government to treat the virus at no cost.

Bangladesh, which has a population of 161 million, has reported over 190,000 cases of COVID-1ß and a death toll of 2,424.

Read more: Coronavirus: Economy down, poverty up in Bangladesh

05:13 The Australian state of Victoria has threatened harsher coronavirus restrictions if a recent outbreak is not quickly brought under control.

Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, last week imposed a six-week lockdown for about five million people following a surge in local cases. Despite the measures, officials said they had found 238 more cases in the last 24 hours.

Australia has been hailed as a global leader in coronavirus containment, but it has struggled in recent weeks. Nationally, the country has reported around 10,500 cases and 111 deaths.

Daniel Andrews, the premier of the state of Victoria, called out a minority of people for defying lockdown orders, which require people to stay at home with the exception of essential activities, and said restrictions could be extended.

"If, however, people do not do the right thing then we will have to move to additional restrictions being put in place and potentially prolong ... these restrictions," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

Read more: How to get from Europe to Australia without flying

Over 500 people have been fined for violating the lockdown, including two men caught driving around playing the 2016 mobile video game Pokemon GO.

Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian said the state will likely also need fresh restrictions, citing several dozen new cases in the past week. However, the state premier ruled out a blanket lockdown, saying the economic damage would be too great.

The country's remote Northern Territory said its borders would remained closed to visitors from Victoria and New South Wales. 

04:55 Hong Kong's Food and Health Bureau has said it will roll out large-scale testing for COVID-19 for high-risk groups following a mysterious surge in new local cases.

The testing will target around 400,000 people, including employees at residential care and nursing homes for the elderly, the disabled, taxi drivers, restaurant employees, and staff from the property management sector.

Hong Kong implemented extensive social-distancing measures earlier this week after 52 new cases emerged. The Health Bureau has characterized the new outbreak as "out of control."

The new measures include requiring face masks on public transportation, a ban on evening dining in restaurants, and re-closures of gyms and entertainment premises.

Public gatherings have once again be limited to four people, down from 50.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has expressed her concern over the unknown origin of 54 of the 182 local cases recorded since July 6.

Hong Kong has registered 1,570 cases of coronavirus, including eight deaths.  

Watch video 01:48

The coronavirus recession explained

03:51 Mexico has reported a near-record number of daily deaths as coronavirus cases soar.

The country registered 836 fatalities and 7,051 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, totaling 36,327 deaths and 311,486 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, the Mexican Ministry of Health said.

In addition to the 36,327 deaths recorded, Mexican authorities said that there are still 2,373 deaths awaiting the outcome of laboratory studies, some of which have been pending since April.

The new cluster of infections has interfered with the government's plan to announce weekly updates of business re-openings. 

Mexico currently limits the number of people allowed into hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Bars, nightclubs and concert venues are yet to reopen.

Read moreIn Mexico, coronavirus floods food banks with demand

03:36 Chilean police are training dogs to detect people infected with coronavirus, by sniffing their sweat.

The dogs — three golden retrievers and a Labrador — are used to detecting drugs, explosives and lost people. Their training began a month ago, and they are expected to be out in the field by August.

"The virus has no smell, but rather the infection generates metabolic changes" which in turn lead to the release of a particular type of sweat "which is what the dog would detect," said Fernando Mardones, a Universidad Catolica professor of veterinary epidemiology.

The UK, France and Germany have also employed canines to detect coronavirus.

03:25 Germany's total coronavirus infections neared 200,000 on Wednesday, the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases has shown.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 351 to 199,726 and the reported death toll rose by three to 9,071.

02:15 Migrants in Yemen face stigmatization as carriers of COVID-19. Over 14,500 migrants in the country, mostly Ethiopian, have been hounded, rounded up, and sent packing to different provinces, the United Nations migration agency reported.

"For nearly six years, Yemen has been an extremely unsafe place to be a migrant,'' said Paul Dillon from the International Organization for Migration. "COVID-19 has made this situation worse; migrants are scapegoated as carriers of the virus and as a result, suffer exclusion and violence.''

Although the number of cases and deaths in Yemen is very low at 1,516 and 429 respectively, experts warn that these numbers do not reflect the reality of the pandemic in the country.

Dillon said that migrants, who often live outdoors, in abandoned buildings, or in detention centers, are particularly vulnerable to the virus. ''There's no access to some of the basics that one would need to address public health concerns such as COVID-19,'' he said.

Read moreYemen's dead and injured children haunt Saudi-led war

01:47 US Biotech company Moderna said that its COVID-19 vaccine will enter the final stage of human trials on July 27. Early results suggested that the vaccine was safe and triggered the generation of antibodies.

Moderna said the trial vaccine was "generally safe and well-tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported through Day 57. Adverse events were generally transient and mild to moderate in severity."

The vaccine, known as mRNA-1273 is being produced by Moderna in collaboration with the US government. In the first phase, the injection was administered to 45 participants between the ages of 18 and 55. Phase two went on to include participants above the age of 55. The phase three trial plans to test 30,000 people later this month.

Read moreCoronavirus: Antibodies, immunity low after recovery

00:50 Tokyo announced that it will raise the alert to the highest of four levels, after a recent spike in cases, according to the Asahi newspaper. Cases exceeded 200 in four of the last six days. Testing in the city's red -ight districts showed a rise in the number of cases among people in their 20s and 30s.

Read moreOkinawa shocked at cluster of coronavirus cases on US military bases

00:07 Cases are surging across the US, even among some states that were the first to ease lockdown restrictions.

Nevada saw a record rise in the number of coronavirus cases. More than 1,100 new infections were reported statewide, bringing the total to 30,000. Authorities attributed the spike to people failing to wear masks and keep distances during the Independence Day holiday. The rise in hospitalizations continued less than a week after restaurants and bars were shut in the Las Vegas and Reno areas.

Florida, which has become the new epicenter of the outbreak, reported a daily record 133 new COVID-19 fatalities on Tuesday, raising the state's death toll to more than 4,500. Alabama and North Carolina, too, reported a spike in deaths, at 40 and 35 respectively.

President Donald Trump criticized plans to close schools in the fall due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, Anthony Fauci, said that decisions on reopening schools in different regions of the country should be left to local officials.

00:00 Catch up on yesterday's coronavirus news here

Watch video 26:05

Made in Germany - The Woes of Generation Lockdown

In reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, unless otherwise specified, DW uses figures provided by the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Coronavirus Resource Center in the United States. JHU updates figures in real-time, collating data from world health organizations, state and national governments, and other public official sources, all of whom have their own systems for compiling information.

Germany's national statistics are compiled by its public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). These figures depend on data transmission from state and local levels and are updated around once a day, which can lead to deviation from JHU.

kmm,tg/sms  (dpa, AFP, AP, Reuters)