Coronavirus latest: US cases may hit ′100,000 a day′ | News | DW | 30.06.2020
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Coronavirus latest: US cases may hit '100,000 a day'

American infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has described chaos in the US' handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic. He has warned that a "safe and effective vaccine" is not guaranteed. Follow DW for the latest.

  • Leading US expert warns cases could reach '100,000 a day'

  • The future of the global labor market is 'highly uncertain,' UN agency warns

  • German railway operator Deutsche Bahn faces financial crisis

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi scolds 'careless' citizens

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT)

22:49 Brazil has recorded 1,280 new coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 59,594, according to data from the Health Ministry. Confirmed infections rose by 33,846 to 1,402,041. Brazil is suffering the second worst outbreak after the US in terms of total deaths and infections.

22:15 Slovenia's interior minister has resigned and the economy minister was detained over an investigation into alleged irregularities in the purchase of coronavirus protective gear. 

Interior Minister Ales Hojs on Tuesday announced his resignation following news of the investigation. He claimed the probe was an attempt to discredit Slovenia's current four-party center-right coalition, which took power in March. "I think this is a politically motivated action," Hojs said to journalists.

Slovenian media have reported several allegations of irregularities connected to the government's acquisition of protective gear and respirators. The reports have accused Economy Minister Zdravko Pocivalsek of offering special treatment to some companies that did not provide adequate equipment. He has rejected the accusations. 

Special police forces on Tuesday said they searched several houses as part of an "investigation over alleged irregularities in the order and acquisition of protective gear." Police did not mention Pocivalsek, but Hojs said he had been detained. Slovenian media reported he was released late Tuesday. 

Prime Minister Janez Jansa has introduced strict confinement measures in Slovenia in an attempt to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. On Tuesday, he dismissed the special police forces' "double standards," saying they had not investigated other relevant cases.  For months, thousands have gathered every Friday in the capital of Ljubljana to protest the protective gear scandal as well as attacks against the media.

21:32 Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden announced that he will not hold campaign rallies during the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement drew a stark contrast with US President Donald Trump who has already held large campaign gatherings this month.  

"This is the most unusual campaign I think in modern history," the former vice president said during a question-and-answer session with reporters in his home state of Delaware, where he discussed the pandemic and ways to mitigate the spread.  

"I'm going to follow the doc's orders — not just for me but for the country — and that means that I am not going to be holding rallies," said Biden, who added that he has not yet been tested for COVID-19. 

Biden blasted Trump for what he called "historic mismanagement" of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, as the number of confirmed cases in several states have risen steadily. "The American people don't make enormous sacrifices over the past four months so ... you can waste all their efforts they have undertaken with your midnight rantings and tweets," Biden said.  

The presumptive nominee released an updated plan for how he would tackle the pandemic, which included increased COVID-19 testing and hiring at least 100,000 contract tracers. 

21:20 Canada announced the extension of its global travel ban, amid the coronavirus pandemic. The country will also maintain mandatory quarantine measures, which require most travelers to Canada, including citizens returning home, to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. 

The quarantine order will be in effect until at least August 31, while the travel ban for most foreign travelers was extended to July 31. Failure to comply with the quarantine order can result in a maximum fine of up to $750,000 and possibly six months in prison. 

Travel by US citizens into Canada is covered under a separate agreement, which was extended earlier this month. The agreement will keep the border closed to all non-essential travel until at least July 21.  

The Canadian government has allowed for some limited exemptions to its border measures, such as immediate family reunification, traveling diplomats, flight crews and those holding valid work or study permits. Canada has registered some 103,918 cases of COVID-19, with 8,566 deaths. 

20:55 European airplane manufacturer Airbus has announced it would cut 15,000 jobs globally, due to the coronavirus pandemic's effect on the aviation industry. "With air traffic not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post COVID-19 industry outlook," the company said in a statement. 

The aviation sector has been crippled by travel restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, with airlines worldwide still uncertain when they will be able to get grounded planes back into the air. 

"Airbus is facing the gravest crisis this industry has ever experienced," Faury said in a statement announcing the plans. The airplane manufacturer, which is based in Toulouse, France, says it hopes to implement its job cut plans by summer 2021.  

Airbus employs about 135,000 people internationally, 90,000 of whom work on plane parts. The bulk of the job cuts will take place in France and Germany, with each country seeing a decline of about 5,000 jobs. Some 1,700 jobs in Britain and 900 in Spain will also be slashed, with the remaining 1,300 spread out worldwide. 

France's Economy Ministry reacted to the announcement by saying the number of job cuts was "excessive" and urged Airbus to do everything to limit it. The French government had pledged €15 billion ($17 billion) earlier this month for the country's aviation industry, in hopes of saving jobs.

17:22 Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the US could face a stunning surge in cases in the coming weeks as public health authorities struggle to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"We are now having a 40-plus thousand new cases a day," Fauci told US lawmakers. "I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I'm very concerned."

The US is the worst-hit country in the world with more than 126,000 deaths and over 2.6 million confirmed cases, according to figures published by Johns Hopkins University. Earlier on Tuesday, US authorities confirmed 41,000 fresh cases.

Just as state authorities were starting to gain control of the outbreak, premature easing of lockdown restrictions have given way to a renewed wave of the deadly pathogen. Critics have accused US President Donald Trump of failing to take the pandemic more seriously from the onset.

Fauci also warned that it would take time before a vaccine would be available for the masses, and that efforts to create one are not certain.

"There is no guarantee [that] we'll have a safe and effective vaccine," said Fauci. "Clearly we are not in total control right now."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Fauci warned that the US could see up to 100,000 new cases a day 'if this does not turn around'

16:56 British health authorities said the number of people who had died as a result of the novel coronavirus has risen by 155, bringing the total death toll to 43,730. The UK has the third-highest death toll in the world.

The announcement came moments before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a vague plan to deliver an "infrastructure evolution" to help spur a post-pandemic recovery of the economy.

However, Johnson did not provide details beyond a pledge of up to 4 billion British pounds (€4.4 billion, $5 billion) for "shovel-ready" projects and an additional 1 billion British pounds for school repairs.

Due to the UK's decision to leave the EU, it will not have access to a €750 billion recovery fund in the works to help out the bloc's hardest-hit countries.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will get the jobs it need by 'building, building building'

16:43 The International Labor Organization said the outlook for the global labor market is "highly uncertain" for the remainder of the year.

"The world is going to begin to emerge from this pandemic with higher levels of unemployment, higher levels of poverty, higher levels of inequality, higher levels of frustration among citizens, but also higher levels of indebtedness," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

The ILO's latest report said global working hours had collapsed and, as a result, were "significantly worse than previously estimated." In the second quarter, an estimated 14% of working hours were shed as a result of the pandemic, amounting to roughly 400 million full-time jobs.

"There is not going to be a simple or a quick recovery," Ryder said.

14:30 Almost double the number of Germans see China as the leading global power today, compared with how they viewed Beijing's place in the world before the pandemic.

France and the US also showed similar increases after results from a survey were released by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. 

According to Germans interviewed, 20% see Beijing as the world's most influential power, up from a pre-pandemic score of 12%. The research surveyed more than 1,000 different people in each country.

In France, 28% of citizens said the same, up from 13%, and even people from the United States have a very different view compared with before the pandemic emerged, with 14% of participants ranking China as the leading global player, compared with just 6% prior to the outbreak.

"Chinese influence in the world was kind of an abstract idea before the crisis," said Martin Quencez, deputy director of the German Marshall Fund's Paris office.

"When you think about the dependency on China for mask and medical equipment, for instance, this has become very concrete," he said.

Nevertheless, the majority of citizens from each of the Western countries still viewed the United States as the world's most influential nation, albeit less overwhelmingly than before the pandemic. In France, 55% of interviewees ranked the US as number one in May, down from 67% in January. Similar figures were recorded in Germany.

14:00 Clemens Tönnies has stepped down from his position as chairman of Bundesliga club Schalke 04, the club confirmed.

Tönnies was subjected to mounting criticism, not least from Schalke fans, who were angry with both the way he ran the club and his handling of his slaughterhouse business, which has seen a large number of coronavirus cases of late.

On Saturday a demonstration was organized by several supporters' clubs under the slogan: "Schalke is not a slaughterhouse! Against the destruction of our club!" — the wording a direct reference to the coronavirus outbreak at the meat processing plant in nearby Rheda-Wiedenbrück owned by Clemens Tönnies.

The spread of the virus has since escalated into the community. This has triggered calls for a complete overhaul of working conditions in the meat industry, repercussions for Tönnies, and uniform nationwide guidelines for dealing with coronavirus hotspots.

As a result of the outbreak, the state government ordered an extensive lockdown for the districts of Gütersloh and Warendorf.

For more on his resignation, check out DW's report: Bundesliga: Schalke chairman Clemens Tönnies resigns

13:35 More than 40% of COVID-19 patients in a northern Italian town showed no symptoms, a study has revealed, suggesting that asymptomatic cases are significant in the spread of the virus.

The Italian town of Vo, 85 kilometers (53 miles) to the west of Venice, was the focus of a study conducted by Padua University and Imperial College London. The research also found evidence that mass testing combined with case isolation and community lockdowns, can curb outbreaks efficiently.

"Despite 'silent' and widespread transmission, the disease can be controlled," said Andrea Crisanti, a professor at Padua and Imperial who co-led the research. "Testing of all citizens, whether or not they have symptoms, provides a way to prevent outbreaks getting out of hand."

Vo, which has a population of nearly 3,200, was instantly put into quarantine for 14 days after suffering Italy's first coronavirus death on February 21.

During those two weeks, most of the population were tested by researchers. The findings also showed that no children under the age of 10 contracted the virus, despite living with adults who had tested positive.

13:10 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to "build, build, build" as a way of awakening the country from its economic slumber brought about by the lockdown.

Johnson announced proposals to hasten infrastructure spending and cut through the red tape around planning to make private sector property development easier.

"We cannot continue simply to be prisoners of the crisis," Johnson said. "We must work fast because we've already seen the vertiginous drop in GDP and we know that people are worried now about their jobs and their businesses."

Watch video 04:47

Great Britain: Unemployed people help harvest crops

12:25 Germany's state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn says the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged it into its worst-ever financial crisis. The company says talks with worker representatives to find savings will begin this week.

Chief executive Richard Lutz on Tuesday said the state group was hemorrhaging cash "in the three-digit-millions" each month, and that the situation was set to persist until at least December.

"In the current business year, this will lead to the biggest operating loss in the history of DB," Lutz wrote in a letter to employees. "We expect impacts totaling billions stemming from the coronavirus in the following years, too," he said.

A massive drop in traffic, in large part because of the travel restrictions imposed by Berlin to control the coronavirus' spread, has drained DB of revenue. Ministers have since agreed that passenger numbers should "double" by 2030 as part of a broader scheme to boost rail transport.

11:20 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has criticized citizens' carelessness and said those breaking the newly introduced lockdown measures will be punished.

"People are becoming careless,'' he said in a live address to the nation. "We need to call out the violators."

He said India's COVID-19 death rate is under control, but that the country is at a "critical juncture."
Modi's sixth national address since the pandemic emerged came as India reported nearly 560,000 cases. More than 16,000 citizens have died from the novel virus.

India, with a population of some 1.3 billion people, is the country with the fourth-highest number of infections in the world — and cases have surged since the end of a 10-week lockdown in early June, sparking new restrictions in some regions.

Modi also said free food rations for 800 million citizens would continue until November.

11:15 The western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is to extend by one week a lockdown in one of two districts affected by an outbreak of the coronavirus at a slaughterhouse.

State Premier Armin Laschet said bars, museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms, and swimming pools would remain closed in the district of Gütersloh as a precautionary measure, even though the outbreak was under control.

A lockdown in the neighboring district of Warendorf was being lifted on Tuesday because the number of positive tests there was lower than in Gütersloh.

Some 600,000 people in both municipalities went back into lockdown on June 23 after more than 1,500 workers at a meat processing plant tested positive for COVID-19. Some of their family members and 24 others with no ties to the plant also tested positive.

"We see that the situation is improving day by day but as a precaution we will wait for more tests to be carried out and then decide if we can lift it," Laschet told a news conference.

Laschet said the situation had been brought under control because of widespread testing and restrictive measures.

10:59 Britain's National Gallery in London has announced plans to reopen next week after being closed for more than three months.

The venue will reopen on Wednesday, July 8, becoming the first major art museum in the UK to open its doors, as restrictions introduce late March are eased. "We want to be a part of the nation's recovery story," gallery director Gabriele Finaldi said.

Some measures to allow visitors are set to be implemented. People will have to keep two meters apart and follow three one-way "art routes" to see the masterpieces. Face masks are also being recommended.

10:15 Lockdowns have been imposed around hotspots in Melbourne to stem a fresh outbreak within the Australian state of Victoria.

The state has recorded 64 new cases, health authorities revealed, and Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews ordered a lockdown, starting Wednesday night, for 10 suburbs in Australia's second-largest city, where the majority of the new infections have occurred.

The newly imposed restrictions means citizens can only leave their homes for caregiving, to exercise, to buy essential items such as food, or to go to work or school.

09:50 Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a research study published on Monday in the US science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The virus has become more infectious to humans and needs to be watched closely in case it becomes a potential "pandemic virus," the study said.

After looking at influenza viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018, researchers found a "G4" strain of H1N1 that has "all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus." They also found that pig farm workers had elevated levels of the virus in their blood.

"Close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in teh swine industry, should be urgently implemented," the paper said.  The study also focused on the possibility of viruses crossing the species barrier into humans, particularly in densely populated regions in China, where millions live in close proximity to farms, breeding facilities, slaughterhouses and wet markets.

A spokesman for the WHO commented that the study shows that "we cannot let our guard down."

"China is closely following the developments in regard to this matter. We will take all necessary measures to prevent the spread and outbreak of any virus," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

However, researchers believe that there is no imminent threat to humans. "Every indication is that the G4 virus would have to undergo some evolutionary change to spread readily in people, and it may never do that," wrote carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington.

09:35 Scandinavian airline SAS has secured 12 billion kronor ($1.28 billion, €1.14 billion) in funding via its main shareholders, as well as the governments of Denmark and Sweden.

The financing would be mainly acquired through the issue of shares to the principal investors. SAS also announced the proposal was supported by its third-largest shareholder, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Denmark and Sweden each own almost 15% of the airline, but would increase their share to about 20%, under the proposal that still needs the green light from the European Commission.

"I count on SAS employee groups to support the recapitalization plan by finding solutions to deliver the required efficiency improvements," SAS board chairman Carsten Dilling said in a stock exchange statement.

The deal is set to be formally endorsed by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting due to take place on August 25.

07:32 The UK medicines agency has given the green light for the restart of hydroxychloroquine trials to see whether the anti-malaria drug can help prevent infection from COVID-19.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) approval comes after the drug was found in another UK clinical trial to have no benefit for individuals already infected.

Hydroxychloroquine has frequently been touted by US President Donald Trump as an effective preventative measure.

06:45 The British government on Monday ordered a lockdown on the city of Leicester in a bid to curb the outbreak. Leicester has a much higher infection rate than anywhere else in the UK, with three times more than the next highest city, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock. 

"Given the growing outbreak in Leicester, we cannot recommend that the easing of the national lockdown due to take place on the 4th of July happens in Leicester," Hancock said in a statement to parliament.

The UK is in the process of slowly easing lockdown restrictions within the country — but Leicester will be forced to wait longer. 

06:00 More than 100 indigenous people in the Brazilian Amazon's Javari Valley have contracted COVID-19. Experts and officials are warning that the virus poses a significant threat to indigenous lives and culture.

The valley — an area the size of Switzerland and Denmark combined — is part of a region bordering Peru and Colombia in the west of Brazil's Amazonas state. It is home to the world's largest number of isolated indigenous people and others who have had only limited contact with the outside world.

Indigenous peoples in isolation are at great risk from infectious diseases because they do not possess the same immunological defenses as others. Respiratory diseases are already one of the leading causes of death among Brazil's native peoples, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

"If it reaches isolated communities, a disease like this will wipe out everyone," warned Eliesio Marubo, an attorney for the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley.

There are some 6,000 already contacted people living in remote areas of the valley. At least 16 other isolated groups remain uncontacted. Most of the 110 people who have been infected are from the already-contacted Kanamari tribe, which has about 1,400 members. 

Brazil has now registered more than 57,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus — the second-highest death toll in the world. More than 11,000 of those deaths have occurred have

05:39 The state of South Australia has canceled a scheduled reopening of its domestic borders to other parts of the nation, after a spike in coronavirus infections in neighboring Victoria.

The state had said it would remove restrictions on interstate arrivals on July 20 as part of a relaxation of lockdown measures. However, a double-digit increase in new cases in Victoria for each of the past 13 days has culminated in Australia's biggest daily increase in new cases since April.

The figures have prompted authorities in Adelaide to rethink.

"We are very hopeful that Victoria will be able to bring their outbreaks under control but, at this stage, we cannot possibly lift that border on 20 July as we were hoping to do," South Australia Premier Steven Marshall told reporters.

"We have worked so hard to get ourselves into a very enviable position and we are not prepared to go backwards."

Marshall said the state would still consider opening its borders to arrivals from other states where infections have been contained, such as Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, but did not specify a time.

03:40 Researchers have discovered a flu virus in Chinese pigs that has become increasingly infectious to humans and needs to be monitored closely due to its potential to become a "pandemic virus," a new study has said. However, experts cautioned there was no imminent threat to humans. 

A team of Chinese researchers observed influenza viruses found in pigs from 2011 to 2018 and found a "G4" strain of H1N1 that has "all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus," a paper published by the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) said. 

Pig farm employees also displayed elevated levels of the virus in their blood. The authors said that "close monitoring in the human population, especially the workers in the swine industry, should be urgently implemented." 

The study emphasized the risks of the virus jumping to humans, especially in densely populated parts of China, where millions of people live in close proximity to pig breeding facilities, slaughterhouses and wet markets. 

The PNAS study said that pigs are important "mixing vessels" for the generation of pandemic influenza viruses. The authors called for "systematic surveillance" of the situation. 

The new strain of H1N1 is a recombination of a once prevalent strain found in pigs and a variant that caused an outbreak in China in 2009, prompting restriction and quarantine measures.

02:51 Germany recorded 313 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Robert Koch Institute, bringing total national cases to 194,259. Fatalities increased by 12, bringing total deaths to 8,973. Some 179,100 people in Germany have now recovered from COVID-19, an increase of around 1,000 over the day before. The infection rate in Germany is currently 0.74, meaning that the average infected person infects less than one other person.

02:19 The United States recorded at least 42,000 coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed Monday, as the country confronts a rapid surge in the disease.

The new infections, concentrated in southern and western states, bring the total number of infections in the US to nearly 2.6 million. The number of daily US deaths in the world's largest economic power continues to decline however, with 355 deaths in 24 hours.

Several state governors have been forced to reimpose lockdowns on businesses such as restaurants and bars, though the White House blames the rise in cases to record levels largely on expanded testing and not community spread.

01:37 China has recorded 19 new cases of coronavirus on the mainland, up from 12 new cases a day earlier, health authorities have said. No new deaths were reported. Seven of the new infections were in in the capital city Beijing, where a fresh outbreak has emerged in recent weeks, the National Health Commission said in a statement. 

Mainland China has so far confirmed a total of 83,531 cases of COVID-19. The country's reported death toll currently stands at 4,634.

Beijing implemented mass coronavirus testing after the first case in the latest outbreak emerged on June 11. The case was linked to a large wholesale food market. 

The State Post Bureau, which manages the country's postal service, said that 104,807 workers at major delivery firms in the city have been tested for COVID-19 and thus far no positive results have been found, according to a report by state broadcaster CCTV.

01:16 Mexico has reported 3,805 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 473 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 220,657 cases and 27,121 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

After almost three months of various types of lockdowns, the nation's capital Mexico City began allowing more businesses to reopen Monday. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said Monday that officials estimate the gradual reopenings this week could put another 1 million to 1.5 million people on the streets of the capital.

00:58 Researchers in the US have identified almost 300 cases of a rare, life-threatening syndrome in children and adolescents associated with COVID-19. Two studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine come after multiple reports of such a syndrome among patients in Europe. 

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) has symptoms in common with toxic shock and Kawasaki disease. These include fever, rashes, swollen glands, and, in severe cases, heart inflammation. The syndrome occurs two to four weeks after the patient is infected by the coronavirus, according to Michael Levin, professor of pediatrics and international child health at Imperial College London.

The symptom affects two in every 100,000 young people (defined as people under the age of 21), out of 322 in 100,000 who contract the virus, Levin wrote in an editorial accompanying the studies. 

The studies identified around 300 cases in the US, but Levin noted that there have been over 1,000 such cases reported worldwide. A relatively high proportion have occurred among Black, Hispanic, or South Asian persons. It is not clear why the syndrome develops in some children and adolescents but not others.

00:49 Brazil is still facing a "big challenge" to get its coronavirus outbreak under control and should do more to integrate efforts at different levels of government, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official has said. 

"We would encourage once more that Brazil continues to fight against the disease, that Brazil links the efforts at federal and at state level in a much more systematic way," said Michael Ryan, head of the WHO emergencies program.

The country should "focus on a comprehensive approach to controlling the disease and doing that in a sustained fashion," he said.

Health experts have strongly criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for how Brazil has handled the crisis. On Monday, the Ministry of Health said it had distributed 4.3 million doses of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, a drug with little evidence showing it is effective against COVID-19. 

With 58,314 fatalities, Brazil has the second-largest coronavirus death toll in the world.

Watch video 02:12

Anger rises with coronavirus death toll in Brazil

00:30 Arizona's governor ordered bars, nightclubs and water parks to close again for at least a month starting Monday night — a dramatic about-face as coronavirus cases surge in the US. Republican Governor Doug Ducey also ordered public schools to delay the start of the classes at least until August 17. Many districts planned to start the school year in late July or early August. Both orders can be extended.

Arizona emerged from stay-at-home order in mid-May, but infections have since begun spiking. On Sunday, it reported 3,858 more confirmed coronavirus cases, the most in a single day for state and the seventh time in recent days that the daily toll surpassed the 3,000 mark.

Doug Ducey, the governor of Arizona, said that the state was closing bars, nightclubs, gyms, movie theaters and water parks. Ducey also said that public schools would restart after August 17. Arizona has also prohibited public gatherings of more than 50 people.

Read more: How millions of America's temporary layoffs could be permanent

00:25 China's customs department has temporarily banned the import of meat from three plants in Brazil amid concern over the novel coronavirus, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry said. The ministry declined to name the companies affected by the decision and said China had not given a formal reason for the suspensions.

Chinese customs authorities have recently asked Brazil for information about some establishments exporting to China following reports in the Brazilian press about cases of COVID-19 among their workers, the Agriculture Ministry said.

00:10 Puerto Rico has extended its curfew to contain the coronavirus by three weeks. This is the longest curfew in any US jurisdiction. Everyone except essential workers has to stay indoors from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until July 22. In addition, face masks remain mandatory, and those who disobey will be fined.

The initial curfew began in mid-March, and Governor Wanda Vazquez warned Sunday that stricter measures could return if she sees a spike in cases, with several small outbreaks already reported in some towns that health officials blame on those visiting or returning from the US mainland.

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

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.

js,am/sri (AP, Reuters, AFP, dpa)