- Iran records its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 with 200 fatalities in the past 24-hours.
- India reports 467 deaths from coronavirus, taking its death toll above 20,000.
- Nearly 11.6 million people around the world have now been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 537,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The United States and Brazil have reported the most cases and the highest death tolls.
Here are the latest updates.
Tuesday, July 7
13:10 GMT – Protective equipment for US medical workers runs low again
Personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the US is running low again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalised patients climbs.
A national nursing union is concerned that PPE will have to be reused. A doctors association warns that physicians’ offices are closed because they cannot get masks and other supplies. Members of Congress are pushing the Trump administration to devise a national strategy to acquire and distribute gear in anticipation of the crisis worsening into the fall.
“We’re five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks,” said Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, who cited results from a survey of the union’s members. “They’re being doled out and we’re still being told to reuse them.”
12:25 GMT – German state of Saxony to allow events with more than 1,000 from September
Germany’s eastern state of Saxony plans to allow large-scale events with more than 1,000 visitors from September 1, Bild newspaper cited the state’s health minister as saying, adding this would include football games.
Petra Koepping, Saxony’s health minister, said there would not be an upper limit to the number of guests allowed at large events but said it would need to be possible to trace them later if necessary, Bild reported.
It said that fairs would be allowed in Saxony from 18 July. Large-scale events have been called off for several months in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
12:20 GMT – Spain to disburse $2bn in aid for transport companies
Spain’s government will disburse 1.8 billion euros ($2bn) in aid to support transport companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic, transport minister Jose Luis Abalos has announced.
State-owned rail operator Renfe will receive 1 billion euros of the funds via an increase in its debt capacity, while 673 million will be for private transport companies, Abalos said after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Infrastructure operator Seipsa will receive a one-off loan of 110 million euros, he said.
12:00 GMT – Spanish PM to discuss EU recovery fund with Germany’s Merkel
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of a July 17-18 summit to discuss a planned European Union recovery fund, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said.
“Spain’s future is at stake in the coming days,” Montero said regarding the negotiations over the fund, from which Spain hopes to receive around 140 billion euros.
11:40 GMT – Spain extends coronavirus aid for tenants, homeowners
Spain’s cabinet is expected to approve the extension of measures aimed at easing the financial burden on rental tenants and homeowners hit by the coronavirus, government sources told Reuters news agency.
With the new measures, tenants will be able to renew their existing contracts for six months under the same conditions, while a ban on utility companies cutting gas, electricity and water supplies will remain in place until September 30, the sources said.
For qualifying homeowners, the deadline to apply for a holiday on mortgage payments will be pushed back until the end of September from July 20. Battered by the pandemic lockdown and travel restrictions, Spain’s economic output is likely to have shrunk 20 percent in the second quarter, according to the central bank.
In March, the government approved a 700-million euro aid package to help vulnerable households and later introduced a minimum income programme to reach around 2.3 million people.
But a UN report published on Monday criticised Spain’s social protection net as insufficient and said the COVID-19 crisis had exacerbated the situation for its poorest citizens.
11:00 GMT – Iran records highest daily death toll from COVID-19
Iran reported 200 new deaths from the coronavirus, the most in a single day since the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak began in February. The previous record was Sunday’s toll of 163 deaths.
“Unfortunately in the past 24 hours we have lost 200 of our compatriots, bringing the total number of victims to 11,931,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.
“The increase in the number of deaths is very painful for all of us,” she said, adding that it was “the result of all of our behaviour and actions”.
Another 2,637 people have tested positive for the virus, taking the total official number of cases to 245,688, Lari said.
Officially recorded deaths and infections from the virus have been steadily rising since Iran reported a near-two month low in daily recorded cases in early May. The uptick has prompted the government to make it mandatory to wear masks in enclosed public spaces.
10:40 GMT – Sandzak residents warn of ‘apocalypse’ over coronavirus
Residents of Serbia’s Sandzak have raised alarm over the number of coronavirus patients in the southwestern region’s hospitals amid a rising death toll, appealing for urgent help from the authorities.
Local media and social media users published videos and photos online last month, showing patients in the region’s central town of Novi Pazar lying on blankets on the floor of a hospital due to overcrowding.
Over the last few weeks, medical staff and patients in the towns of Novi Pazar, Sjenica and Tutin have reported shortages of necessary equipment and personnel.
Read more here.
10:00 GMT – Israeli parliament passes bill to allow gov’t to bypass it on coronavirus regulations
The Israeli parliament has passed an emergency bill allowing the government to bypass it in making immediate decisions on combating a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus.
Parliament voted early Tuesday to sidestep its own committees so that government decisions could go into immediate effect. The argument was quick implementation was essential given the fast-spreading nature of the virus. But some opposition lawmakers decried the sidelining of the legislature, saying it marked another step in undermining the foundations of Israeli democracy.
It comes a day after the government reimposed new restrictions on the public to quell spread of the virus.
09:55 GMT – South Africa coronavirus cases surge past 200,000
South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 200,000 as the country continues to post some of the highest daily numbers in the world.
The health ministry reports 8,971 new cases, bringing the total to 205,721. Nearly one third are in the new hot spot of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.
The African continent overall has more than 477,000 confirmed cases.
09:00 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,268 new coronavirus infections, 68 deaths
Indonesia has reported 1,268 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases to 66,226, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto told a televised briefing.
The official also announced 68 additional deaths due to the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities to 3,309, while 30,785 people have recovered.
08:45 GMT – UK coronavirus death toll passes 55,000
The United Kingdom’s suspected COVID-19 death toll has hit 55,398, according to a Reuters new agency tally of official data sources that underline the country’s status as one of the worst hit in the world.
The Reuters tally comprises fatalities where COVID-19 was mentioned on death certificates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland up to June 26, and up to June 28 in Scotland. It also includes more recent hospital deaths.
The Office for National Statistics said total deaths in England and Wales in the week to June 26 had now fallen below the five-year average for the second week running.
08:00 GMT – Armenia will not send athletes to CIS Games in Russia
Armenia will not send athletes to the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Games in the Russian city of Kazan in September due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
The landlocked South Caucasus country, which has recorded more than 29,000 cases of the virus and over 500 deaths, became the first nation to withdraw from the Games which will feature competition in 22 sports for athletes aged between 14 and 23.
“We deeply regret to say that due to the current situation in the world our country will be unable to participate in the CIS Games,” Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Artur Martirosyan said.
The inaugural Games of the CIS – a grouping of former Soviet Republics – was scheduled to be held in Kazan from Aug. 20-27 but organisers pushed the event back to Sept. 4-11 due to the health situation. Belarus, another ex-Soviet country, said it will send a 390-member delegation to Kazan.
“Athletes miss competitions,” Belarusian Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk said. “They all dream of meeting their peers and competing. The CIS Games will give them a great opportunity to do so.”
07:30 GMT – Russia reports more than 6,500 new coronavirus cases
Russia has reported 6,368 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 694,230.
The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 198 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 10,494. Russia said 463,880 people have recovered from the virus
05:00 GMT – Police, soldiers deployed at NSW-Victoria border ahead of closure
Hundreds of police and soldiers have been sent to the border between the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria ahead of its closure at 11.59pm (13:59 GMT).
“There will be a significant military and police operation going on to monitor all cross-border activity,” NSW Police Minister David Elliott said. “There’s serious fines and indeed, a jail sentence, to anyone that wants to push that envelope.”
The border is hundreds of kilometres long and daily travel permits will be issued to people in border areas who commute across state lines for school, work and other activities.
It’s the first time the border has been closed since 1919 when the country was hit by the Spanish flu.
04:20 GMT – India death tolls exceeds 20,000
India’s death toll has surpassed 20,000 as the country moves ahead with plans to relax its nationwide lockdown.
On Tuesday, the country reported 467 new deaths from coronavirus, bringing the total death toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new confirmed cases.
New cases and deaths are both rising at their fastest pace in three months, according to Reuters.
04:00 GMT – Beijing reports zero new cases for first time since market outbreak
Beijing has reported no new cases of coronavirus for the first time since an outbreak emerged at the Chinese capital’s main wholesale market last month.
City authorities say they have tested more than 11 million people for COVID-19 since June 11.
Pang Xinghuo, deputy director of Beijing’s centre for disease control, said the outbreak was “stabilising and improving”.
03:55 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state considering four-week lockdown
The state of Victoria is considering the introduction of a four-week lockdown after recording its biggest-ever daily surge in cases, according to the Australian newspaper.
The paper said the state recorded 191 new cases on Tuesday. State Premier Daniel Andrews is due to speak to the media soon.
Victoria’s border with neighbouring New South Wales is due to close at midnight local time on Tuesday. It’s the first time that’s happened in 100 years.
— James Chessell (@jameschessell) July 7, 2020
03:15 GMT – Sinovac starts late-stage vaccine trials
China’s Sinovac Biotech is starting Phase III trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine in Brazil, after securing fast-track approvals from the country’s regulator.
The study will involve 9,000 people working in specialised COVID-19 medical facilities.
Phase III trials test a vaccine’s efficacy.
It’s the third experimental vaccine to enter late-stage trials after products developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). Moderna plans to begin late stage trials later month.
03:00 GMT – Five sumo members confirmed to have COVID-19 antibodies
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK has reported that five members of the Sumo Association have been confirmed to have coronavirus antibodies.
It did not say whether they were wrestlers or had other roles in the association.
A 28-year-old wrestler, Shobushi, died from the disease in May, the first death in sumo.
02:50 GMT – Bali eyes September return for foreign tourists
The Indonesian resort island of Bali is planning to reopen to tourism with domestic visitors returning by the end of this month and visitors from overseas on September 11.
COVID-19 cases have increased recently, with Bali reporting 1,900 confirmed cases and 23 deaths. Indonesia itself has 65,000 cases and 3,241 deaths.
02:20 GMT – Students in China sit university entrance exam
More than 10 million students from around China have started sitting the highly competitive gaokao or university entrance exam that was delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The state-run Global Times says it’s the largest public event since the health crisis.
Born around the time of the SARS epidemic in 2003, more than 10 million high school graduates are taking the national college entrance exam, known as #gaokao. This year’s gaokao comes one month later than usual due to the #COVID_19. pic.twitter.com/FcheqHjZcG
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) July 7, 2020
Candidates in #Wuhan enter examination site for this year’s college entrance examination, or gaokao, after measuring body temperature on Tue. This year’s gaokao, which is being held in most parts of China from July 7 to 8, is the largest public event since the #COVID19 pandemic. pic.twitter.com/dYc5rff0zf
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 7, 2020
01:35 GMT – Mexico outbreak could last until April
A top health official in Mexico says the outbreak there could last until next April.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told Radio Formula, a local channel, that cases could persist throughout the winter.
“Flu season begins in October and there are some reasonable assumptions that we could also have a spike in COVID-19 along with the flu throughout the fall-to-winter season,” he said.
Mexico has recorded 31,119 deaths from the disease, the fifth highest number in the world.
00:00 GMT – New Zealand to limit citizens’ return in quarantine squeeze
New Zealand citizens who want to return home may have to wait longer than anticipated after the government moved to limit arrivals from overseas to ease pressure on mandatory quarantine facilities.
Officials said they had reached an agreement with Air New Zealand to put a hold on inbound bookings for the next three weeks and were talking to other airlines.
“The last thing we need are hastily set up facilities to meet demand, so we must have a manageable number of fit-for-purpose, safe facilities that do the job of stopping COVID-19 at the border,” Housing Minister Megan Woods said in a statement.
There are currently nearly 6,000 people in quarantine at 28 facilities.
23:30 GMT – Bolsonaro tested after showing COVID-19 symptoms
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has had another coronavirus test, after reporting symptoms associated with the respiratory disease, including a fever.
Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just been tested for the virus, and that a medical examination had shown his lungs were “clean”. The results are due on Tuesday.
The right-wing populist has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus, even though Brazil now has the second highest number of cases, and deaths, in the world.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday here.