Coronavirus latest: WHO logs record daily rise in cases | News | DW | 12.07.2020
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Coronavirus latest: WHO logs record daily rise in cases

The World Health Organization has reported another record increase in global infections over a 24-hour period, with the US topping the list with the highest number of new cases. Follow DW for the latest.

  • The World Health Organization has recorded another record increase in cases worldwide
  • Bill Gates calls for drugs and potential vaccine to be given first to those who need them most
  • Florida has recorded the largest daily spike in cases in the US so far

All updates in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC/GMT) 

23:16: A US federal appeals court has ruled that the first federal execution in 17 years can proceed as scheduled on Monday, overturning a lower judge's injunction. The ruling from the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a lower court order that had put the execution of 47-year-old Daniel Lewis Lee on hold.

The execution of convicted murderer Daniel Lewis Lee had been blocked on Friday by a federal judge after some of the victims' relatives sued, saying they feared that attending could expose them to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Justice Department argued that the district judge's order misconstrued the law and asked the appeals court to immediately overturn the ruling.

22:50 Brazil is approaching the two million infections mark with a new total of 1,864,681 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, the Health Ministry has announced. The South American country, the world's number two coronavirus hot spot after the US, registered 631 new deaths on Sunday.

Brazil now has a total of 72,100 registered deaths. Experts warn that the true totals of coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths are likely to be far higher due to a lack of testing.

20:47 South Africa reimposed a nighttime curfew and a ban on alcohol sales as COVID-19 cases spike in the country. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new round of coronavirus restrictions, saying the suspension of alcohol sales was intended to keep the country's health system from being overwhelmed. "As we head towards the peak of infections, it is vital that we do not burden our clinics and hospitals with alcohol-related injuries that could have been avoided," Ramaphosa.

Starting on Monday, a nighttime curfew will be in place between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. (1900 to 0200 UTC) in a bid to reduce traffic accidents. Face masks will also be required in public places, and the country's "state of disaster" will be extended until August 12.

After implementing one of the world's strictest lockdowns, South Africa began relaxing restrictions in May and June although the sale of tobacco products has remained banned. The restrictions wreaked havoc on Africa's second-largest economy, which was already in a difficult position pre-pandemic.

The rapid spread of the virus in South Africa has made it one of the world's hotspots for COVID-19. The country has recorded over 276,000 cases so far and over 4,000 related deaths.

19:25 The World Health Organization has recorded another record increase in cases worldwide on Sunday, over a period of 24 hours, noting a global jump in 230,000 infections.

It puts the number of people infected worldwide at 12.5 million; 562,000 Covid-19 patients have died.

In the past day, the US has counted 66,000 new cases, Brazil 45,000 and India 28,000. The largest rise in the US came from the state of Florida, which logged more than 15,200 cases over a 24-hour period.

18:03 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has approved assistance grants of up to $2,000 (€1,800) for employees, the self-employed and businesses affected by the pandemic.

The measure still needs to be approved by the Knesset, Israel's parliament, but wouldn't require a lengthy legislative process, Netanyahu stressed.

The announcement comes after thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv to vent their frustration over what they perceive as the government's poor handling of the crisis.

Israel has recorded 38,670 cases and 362 deaths from COVID-19.

COVID-19 protests in Tel Aviv (AFP/J. Guez)

Thousands of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv on Saturday night

17:35 The US state of Florida has broken a national record by logging an increase of mroe than 15,000 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the largest spike of any state in a single day.

According to the state's Department of Health, 15,299 people tested positive, taking the total number of infected to 269,811 cases; 45 deaths were recorded on Sunday.

The previous one-day record for new cases had been held by California, with 11,694 cases registered on Wednesday

15:55 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged all citizens to wear facemasks and help stem what has been the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East.

Khamenei lamented the resurgence of the coronavirus in the country as "truly tragic," urging all citizens to play a role in curbing the transmission of COVID-19.

"Let everyone play their part in the best way to break the chain of transmission in the short term and save the country," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was reported as saying in a video conference with members of parliament. 

Iran has struggled to contain the outbreak since announcing its first cases in February. It has reported more than 12,800 deaths since then.

The speech was Khameini's first to the new parliament which took office at the end of May. The legislature is dominated by conservatives and ultra-conservatives who were chosen in February elections. 

Khamenei praised health care workers for "their sacrifices," according to his official website.

However, he strongly criticized "some people who do not even do something as simple as wearing a mask", saying he felt "ashamed" of such behavior.

Ali Khamenei (tasnim)

Khamenei said the resurgence of the outbreak in Iran was 'truly tragic'

Khamenei's comments came with infections again on the rise in Iran since early May. 

Figures announced on Sunday put the number of deaths in the past 24 hours at 194, with 2,186 new cases recorded. Iran's Health Ministry announced a record 221 deaths in a single day on Thursday. 

In total, 257,303 cases have been reported in the country, including 12,829 deaths.

15:30  Football fans in France have returned to the stands for the first time since the coronavirus shut down soccer.

French League 2 club Le Havre hosted a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain side, with only 5,000 fans allowed in the 25,000-seat Stade Oceane.

Spectators had to wear facemasks to get into the ground and were asked to sit apart from one another once they were in the stands.

Players from the Paris club wore kits featuring the words "Tous unis" (All united) and "Merci'' (Thank you) to show appreciation for health workers.

Read more: New Bundesliga season, German Cup to kick off in September

The return of fans comes amid growing concern about a possible second wave of infections.

French football officials are the first among Europe's big 5 leagues to allow spectators back into the stadium. France is the only one to have abandoned its domestic league completely, never resuming it even after new infection rates began to dip.

Play has resumed without fans in England, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The return of fans comes as deaths in France surpassed 30,000, with growing concerns about a possible second wave of infections. Soccer matches have been blamed for helping speed the initial spread of the pandemic across Europe.

13:22 Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai has tested positive for coronavirus, a Mumbai city authority told news outlets. Rai's husband and father-in-law, fellow Bollywood actors Abishek and Amitabh Bachchan both tested positive on Saturday night and were taken into hospital.

Rai's 8-year-old daughter also tested positive for the virus.

Rai is one of Bollywood’s most famous faces, having begun her acting career after being crowned Miss World in 1994.

Read more: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tests positive for COVID-19

13:10 Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday pledged financial aid to Israelis whose livelihoods have been devastated by coronavirus, following a night of protests, Israeli media reported.

Thousands of demonstrators turned out in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to voice frustration at Netanyahu, who initially won praise for his early response to the virus.

Netanyahu did not mention the protest, but promised financial help was on the way. The first steü will be cash disbursement of up to 7,500 shekels ($2,170) to the self-employed.

“This support, this grant, is not dependent on legislation and we have instructed that it be put into effect today,” he said.

Protesters take to the streets of Tel Aviv (picture-alliance/dpa/I. Yefimovich)

Protesters take to the streets of Tel Aviv

12:55 Sex workers and brothel operators have protested for the right to return to work in the German city of Hamburg. Formally, legal sex work remains outlawed due to the coronavirus despite lifted restrictions for shops and restaurants.

Around 400 prostitutes and brothel operators from around Germany demonstrated in the red light district of Hamburg late Saturday evening to demand that Germany's brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closure.

Read more: Germany: Hamburg's prostitutes demand right to work amid coronavirus

12:48 Only 61% of Germans would allow themselves to be vaccinated against coronavirus, according to a new study cited in German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. The study, seen by the newspaper before its official publication, was a cooperation between seven European countries: Portugal, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Germany.

The study, conducted by the University of Hamburg, saw the proportion of people prepared to be vaccinated drop below 70% in every country, with the lowest number of Germans. In April 70% of Germans were prepared to be vaccinated, now down to 61%.

The study showed that residents of the state of Bavaria were least likely to accept a vaccination, at only 52%.

12:01 Poland has gone to the polls under strict sanitary conditions because of the coronavirus outbreak. Poland has registered over 37,000 infections, and almost 1,600 people have died.

Voters must wear masks and gloves, maintain social distancing and can bring their own pens. Election officials must wear masks too and ballot boxes will be regularly disinfected.

The presidential election is a runoff between conservative incumbent Andrzej Duda and liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski.

Read more: Anti-German sentiment colors Polish president's election campaign

Watch video 02:07

Poles to choose president after divisive campaign

11:46 Germany's national train operator, Deutsche Bahn, has announced that the coronavirus crisis has seen their trains become more punctual than they have been for over a decade.

Some 83.5% of long-distance trains were on time in the first six months of 2020, according to the company.

"That’s the best it’s been since 2008," chief Richard Lutz said. In the same period in 2019, 77.2% of trains were on time.

Lutz identified "record investment" as the cause of the improvement, as fewer people travelled by train owing to travel restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus.

11:06 Hungary says it will reimpose restrictions, such as mandatory two-week quarantines or bans, on people arriving from countries where the rate of coronavirus infections is considered to be moderate or high.

"We see worrisome signs about an increase in the number of cases in the neighboring countries, Europe and the whole world," said Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff.

Gulyas said only Hungarian citizens will be allowed to enter from countries in the "red" category — those with a high rate of infections — including Albania, Ukraine, Belarus and practically all of Asia, Africa and South and Central America. 

They will have to stay in quarantine for two weeks but will be allowed out earlier if they get two negative test results 48 hours apart.

Both Hungarians and foreigners arriving from countries in the "yellow" category  — which includes, among others, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, as well as Britain, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China and the United States — will have to quarantine for two weeks, but will be allowed out if they test negative for the virus: once in the case of Hungarians, or two negative tests 48 hours apart in the case of foreigners.

The new measures will take effect on Wednesday.

A woman hands out masks at a Budapest transit station (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Z. Balogh)

Hungary reopened its borders to EU nationals on June 21 and face masks are still mandatory

09:48 A study by scientists in the southern German city of Munich suggests coronavirus antibodies may not remain in the body longer than a few months, dampening hopes of an effective vaccine or long-term immunity. 

Tests on patients treated at Munich's Schwabing Clinic showed a significant drop in the number of so-called neutralizing antibodies in the blood, said Clemens Wendtner, senior consultant at the hospital's department for infectious diseases.

"In four of the nine patients, we see falling neutralizing antibodies in a very special test that can only be carried out in a high-security laboratory," said Wendtner. 

"The extent to which this has an impact on long-term immunity and vaccination strategies is still speculative, but must be monitored critically as it progresses," he added.

The results suggest that recovered patients can be re-infected with the virus, though further tests are necessary to confirm this, Wendtner said.

Wendtner's findings chime with other studies around the world. 

Read more: Coronavirus: German vaccine study draws thousands of volunteers

08:55 Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has laid out the conditions for him to approve a controversial European Union coronavirus recovery package.

"If we are spending a great deal of state money, we should at least ensure that it’s flowing into the right areas," Kurz told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

He called for the aid to be spent on research and development towards improved digital infrastructure and climate protection.

EU leaders are set to meet at a special summit on Friday and Saturday, hoping to reach an agreement on the proposed aid package worth €750 billion ($851 billion). 

Read more: Austria's Kurz lays out conditions for EU coronavirus recovery deal

08:45 Regional elections in northern Spain are taking place after being postponed from April because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Over 4 million people are eligible to vote in Galicia and the Basque Country. Social distancing, masks and booths without curtains have been ordered.

There were widespread fears that the elections would see a low turnout amid the ongoing pandemic. Polls show that the ruling parties in both regions are set to comfortably maintain power.

Around 500 people who are currently infected have been excluded from the votes, in a move some have described as unconstitutional.

Basque premier Inigo Urkullu votes (Reuters/V. West)

Basque premier Inigo Urkullu votes in his Spanish region's election

07:59 Germany's agriculture minister has criticized a slaughterhouse responsible for a local coronavirus outbreak and lockdown for applying to have its workers' wages reimbursed by the state.

"I have little understanding of this [decision]," German Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner said in an interview with newspaper Bild am Sonntag, adding that the cluster of cases had affected an entire region.

Last month, an outbreak at the Tönnies meat-processing plant in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) left more than 1,500 employees infected and triggered a lockdown in two nearby districts.

Some 7,000 of the company's employees were put under quarantine. 

Watch video 04:50

Corona Outbreak in a meat factory

Tönnies last week filed an application through Germany's Infection Protection Act. The legislation provides wage reimbursement to companies if health authorities close a plant and impose a period of quarantine.

If approved, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia would reimburse Tönnies for its cost of wages.

Labor minister of NRW Karl-Josef Laumann told Bild am Sonntag it is possible the state will find the claim valid, but warned about the message it sent to the public.

"If I were Mr. Tönnies and his business partners, I would think very carefully about what the citizens of North Rhine-Westphalia are actually expected to put up with," Laumann said.

07:08 Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his actor son Abhishek,have tested positive for coronavirus and remain in hospital with mild symptoms in Mumbai, doctors have confirmed.

Bachchan, who is 77 years old, tweeted on Saturday night that he had tested positive and appealed to those who had been in close proximity with him in recent days to get tested. Indian media reported that both father and son had been coughing and showing signs of fever. Doctors confirmed that both patients were in stable condition.

On Sunday, a health official tweeted that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan — Abhishek's wife — and their daughter had also tested positive.

The Bachchans have been described as Bollywood’s First Family. 

Amitabh Bachchan (AFPJ. Samad)

Amitabh Bachchan took part in the 'I For India' concert live on Facebook during the country's lockdown

06:51 Australia’s worst-hit state of Victoria has reported 273 new cases, the sixth day in a row when infections have exceeded 100.

The city of Melbourne remains in virtual lockdown and Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said a new death had brought the country’s death toll to 108. He warned: "This is a dangerous time."

"We simply have no choice but to acknowledge the reality that we face and to do what must be done. That is to follow the rules, and to only go out for purposes that are lawful," Andrews added.

Melbourne in lockdown map

06:41 People flying into the Australian city of Sydney will have to pay thousands of dollars for their compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine, authorities have announced.

From July 18, individuals will be charged A$3,000 ($2,085, €2,656) for their stay, with an extra $1,000 for a partner and $5,000 in all for families of four.

"Australian residents have been given plenty of time to return home and we feel it is only fair that they cover some of the costs of their hotel accommodation," New South Wales state premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

So far, the Australian government has spent over $50 million on quarantine hotel accommodation for arrivals.

05:20 The governor of Japan's Okinawa island has demanded the US military take tougher measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus at two US bases there. 

The comments came hours after officials were told that more than 60 Marines have been infected over the past few days.

Okinawan officials said a total of 61 cases have been recorded — 38 of them at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the center of a relocation dispute, and another 23 at Camp Hansen. 

They said that U.S. military officials told them the two bases have since been put in lockdown. The exact figures were only disclosed after Okinawa's repeated requests to the US military.

Adding to their concern is quarantining of an unidentified number of American service members arriving from the mainland US for ongoing staff rotations at an off-base hotel due to shortage of space on base, officials said.

Okinawa is home to more than half of about 50,000 American troops based in Japan under a bilateral security pact.

The island has had about 150 cases of the coronavirus.

Watch video 03:07

USA: COVID-19 Divides Society

03:52 The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in Germany has increased by 248 to 198,804, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. 

The reported COVID-19 death toll rose by three to 9,063. 

The new figures show a continuing trend of low coronavirus infections in the country, which has prompted organizations like the German Football League (DFL) to consider loosening restrictions on gatherings. The DFL said it planned to let fans back into stadiums, but without singing or allowing loud shouting. 

The Bundesliga has faced pushback from fans for the decision to continue to hold games without letting audiences back into stadiums. Germany's Bundesliga has already wrapped up the 2019-20 season and is set to start its 2020-21 season on September 18. 

Bundesliga club Union Berlin has said it will allow fans into the stadium in September, saying it is prepared to pay for COVID-19 tests for all its staff and its 22,012 season ticket holders so that they can reenter the stadium. Fans would have to show a ticket and a negative test that is less than 24 hours old to enter the stands. 

Read more: Coronavirus: German vaccine study draws thousands of volunteers

01:32: The US reported another record rise in coronavirus cases on Saturday, with 66,528 new cases, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The death toll stood at 134,729 with 760 additional deaths counted. In total, the country has so far registered over 3.2 million cases.

The US has now seen daily new cases top 60,000 in four of the past five days.

Read more: Foreign students in US face 'huge amount of stress and fear' after visa change

00:59 Brazil recorded 1,071 new deaths from coronavirus and a total of 1,839,850 confirmed cases, the Health Ministry said. In total, some 71,469 people have died from COVID-19 in the South American nation. Brazil is currently the world's number two coronavirus hotspot, after the United States. 

Authorities canceled one of southern Brazil's biggest football games less than 24 hours before kick-off, after 14 members of one side tested positive for COVID-19. The Santa Catarina state championship had been restarted on July 8 with four games, including Chapecoense's 2-0 home win over Avai. 

"One of the teams had 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and it is necessary for all the players to follow the necessary protective measures," the state health authorities said in a statement. Santa Catarina state has recorded 42,026 cases of the new coronavirus, with 485 deaths.

00:16 CanSino Biologics, a Chinese vaccine maker, is currently in talks with four countries — Russia, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia — to launch a phase 3 trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine. Qiu Dongxu, executive director and co-founder of the company, said that the trial would start "pretty soon" and CanSino would recruit 40,000 people for the trial.    

The company is currently constructing a new factory in China. CanSino expects to annually produce 100-200 million doses of the vaccine by early 2021, if it is approved. 

CanSino's vaccine candidate, Ad5-nCov, was approved for testing on humans in March — becoming the first vaccine in China to achieve the feat. China has also approved two vaccine candidates by Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm for phase 3 trials. 

Read more: What's the science on DNA and RNA vaccines?

00:05 US President Donald Trump made his first public appearance with a face mask on Saturday at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the state of Maryland. The president wore a navy-blue mask emblazoned with a presidential seal at the military medical facility, where he was scheduled to meet combat veterans and healthcare workers. 

"I think when you are in a hospital, especially in that particular setting when you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table, I think it's a great thing to wear a mask," Trump said during a press briefing before the visit to the hospital. 

Trump had previously refused to wear a mask publicly or ask Americans to do so, citing the decision to wear a mask a "personal choice." 

In May, Trump had been spotted wearing a mask during a visit to a factory operated by US carmaker Ford. However, he didn't wear the mask in the public portion of the plant, saying that he didn't "want to give the press the pleasure of seeing him" in a face mask.

Watch video 02:04

Face masks – an annoying but necessary accessory

00:00 Catch up on Saturday's coronavirus news here: Coronavirus latest: Brazil's death toll tops 70,000

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. 

am,jcg/sri (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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