Coronavirus has infected more than 14.1 million people, of whom over 8.4 million have recovered and some 598,000 have died. Here are the updates for July 18: A health worker collects a swab sample from a person during a check up campaign for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Mumbai, India on July 17, 2020. (Reuters) Saturday, July 18, 2020
India sees new jump in infections
A surge of 34,884 new coronavirus cases has taken India’s tally to 1,038,716, as local governments continue to reimpose focused lockdowns in several parts of the country.
The Health Ministry also reported 671 deaths during the past 24 hours for a total of 26,273. The ministry said the recovery rate had slightly come down to 62.9 percent.
The actual numbers, like elsewhere in the world, are thought to be far higher due to a number of reasons including limited testing. Over 300,000 samples are being tested every day.
About a dozen states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam, have put high-risk areas under lockdowns, only allowing essential food supplies and health services.
Experts say India is likely to witness a series of peaks as the infection spread in rural areas.
Germany's cases rise by 529 to 201,372
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany have increased by 529 to 201,372.
The country's reported death toll rose by one to 9,083, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.
Cases drop by half in Australia's Victoria state
Australia’s Victoria state has seen a marked drop in new Covid-19 infections – from Friday’s record high of 428 to 217 – a total that Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says was “a relief after yesterday’s numbers.”
The Health Department said on Saturday that two more Victorians, a man and a woman both aged in their 80s, had died, taking the state’s death toll to 34 and Australia’s national total to 118.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the latest numbers were encouraging but warned it was just one day.
He says “we’d want to see a pattern where t here’s stability and then a decrease.”
He urged residents in metropolitan Melbourne to remain diligent during a six-week lockdown – “being bored is much better than being in intensive care.”
Mainland China reports 22 new cases
Urumqi, the capital of China's far western region of Xinjiang, said it has launched emergency response plan after the city reported 16 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
The regional government said all recent new infections and asymptomatic cases reported in the autonomous region were in Urumqi.
Xinjiang, home to most of China's Uighur ethnic minority, has so far mostly avoided the worst of the coronavirus pandemic which erupted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
As of July 17, the region reported a total of 17 coronavirus cases, plus 11 asymptomatic cases. Another 269 people were under medical observation, according to the regional health commission.
Including the 16 cases in Urumqi, China reported 22 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 17, up from 10 cases a day earlier, the health authority said on Saturday. Six others were imported cases.
China reported 14 new asymptomatic patients, up from five a day earlier.
As of Friday, mainland China had 83,644 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The Covid-19 death toll remained at 4,634.
South Korea registers 39 new cases
Authorities in South Korea say most of the country's new coronavirus cases are coming from abroad.
The officials have expressed optimism that the recent resurgence of infections is being brought under control.
They say imported cases are less threatening than local transmissions because South Korea is mandating testing and enforcing two-week quarantines on all people arriving from other nations.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday that at least 28 of 39 newly confirmed cases were tied to people arriving from abroad. It says 18 others involved local transmission in the densely populated Seoul area, which was at the center of the virus resurgence that began in late May as people increased economic and social activities.
In all, South Korea has reported 13,711 confirmed cases during the pandemic, including 294 deaths.
South Africa reports 13,373 new virus cases
South Africa on Friday reported 135 more virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 4,804.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that 13,373 new cases were recorded, bringing the total number of infections to 337,594. A total number of recoveries reached 178,183.
He said the country has conducted 2.3 million tests for the virus with 48,130 new tests concluded over the past 24 hours.
South African health officials expect an increase in infections as the country is currently in its winter season.
Turkey sends medical aid to Venezuela
Turkey's planeload of medical aid has landed to Venezuela in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our plane carrying medical aid materials to be used in the fight against Covid-19 has landed in Venezuela. It was welcomed by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and our Ambassador Sevki Mutevellioglu,” the National Defence Ministry said on Twitter .
The boxes of supplies also carried a message for the people of the South American nation whose economy is crippled by US sanctions.
Turkey has sent medical aid to nearly 140 countries to help them combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Texas has its worst day yet in Covid-19 deaths
The deadliest month of the pandemic in Texas continues, with state officials reporting 174 new deaths, the most in one day since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Texas also reported more than 10,000 confirmed new cases Friday for the fourth consecutive day. The rate of positive cases also climbed above 17% for the first time.
Officials on the Texas-Mexico border, which has been especially hard hit, say hotels could be converted into medical units as early as next week.
The grim markers were announced hours after Texas gave public schools permission to keep campuses closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall.
Nearly a third of the more than 3,700 coronavirus deaths in Texas have come in July.
Argentina confirms highest daily coronavirus case load
Argentina's government announced on Friday it will gradually loosen a lockdown that has lasted nearly four months in and around Buenos Aires to stem the spread of coronavirus, though it later confirmed its highest daily infection count since the pandemic began.
President Alberto Fernandez said the gradual return to normal life will happen in several stages, with the first stage lasting until Aug. 2.
In capital Buenos Aires, which has been under the tightest restrictions in the country since March 20, shops, hair salons and some professional services will reopen.
Outdoor recreation activities will also be permitted. Schools will remain closed while officials analyse options for reopening, said Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, who joined Fernandez for the announcement from the presidential palace.
The government had come under pressure to begin reopening after facing criticism from opposition lawmakers and growing protests in the streets of Buenos Aires against the lengthy lockdown.
Later on Friday, the government reported 4,518 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily count yet. The country now has 119,301 confirmed cases, with 2,178 deaths, according to official data, numbers that are relatively low compared to many of Argentina's South American neighbours.
WHO reports record daily increase in global cases
The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 237,743 in 24 hours.
The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. The previous WHO record for new cases was 230,370 on July 12. Deaths have held steady and averaged less than 5,000 a day in July.
Total global coronavirus cases were approaching 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking another milestone in the spread of the disease that has killed more than 590,000 people in seven months.
Trump says he will not consider a national mask mandate
US President Donald Trump said he would not consider a national mandate requiring people to wear masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Asked in an interview on Fox News to be broadcast on Sunday if he would consider a mandate, Trump said: “No, I want people to have a certain freedom, and I don’t believe in that.”
Egypt reports lowest daily figure since late May
Egypt reported 703 new cases on Friday, the health ministry said, the lowest figure since late May.
In total, 86,474 cases have been reported and 4,188 deaths, including 68 on Friday, the ministry said in a statement.
Egypt reopened resorts to foreign tourists on July 1 after tourism came to a halt in March under measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak. But Egypt has not made it yet to a “safe list” of countries for resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union, which is reviewed every two weeks.
Tourism accounts for 5% of Egypt’s economic output, according to the government. Analysts put the figure as much as 15% if jobs indirectly related to the sector are included.
Brazil reports 34,000 new cases, 1,163 deaths
Brazil registered 34,177 new confirmed cases and 1,163 new deaths on Friday, the health ministry said.
Total cases in Brazil, the world's second most affected country after the United States, have now risen to 2,046,328 while deaths totalled 76,688.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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