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International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 650,000 – infections near 16.5 million – Google to keep work from home in place until July 2021

By Paul Dennis

28 July

Global: Global coronavirus deaths passed 650,000 as new surges prompt fresh curbs. More than 100,000 deaths have been recorded since 9 July, and the global toll has doubled in just over two months. Infections are rapidly nearing 16.5 million world wide.

The UN says nearly seven million more children will suffer growth stunting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting food supplies. Writing in The Lancet, a team of experts modelled the impact on 118 poor and middle-income countries. They found the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under five would increase by 14.3 percent, which works out to an extra 6.7 million cases.

Philippines: The Red Cross in the Philippines is urging people to be more vigilant as Covid-19 cases in the country jump by more than a thousand each day.

China: Mainland China has reported 68 new cases of coronavirus, with 64 of them locally transmitted. 57 of the local cases were diagnosed in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to state media.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 384 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths in the past 24 hours. On Monday, the state reported a record 532 cases.

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Lockdown updates

US: Google employees will keep its employees home until at least July 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported, marking the largest tech firm to commit to such a timeline in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK: Britain’s decision to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling from Spain is unfair, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez said. He added that the Spanish government is in touch with British authorities in a bid to get the country to reconsider its position.

Lebanon: Lebanon re-imposed severe Covid-19 restrictions for the next two weeks. It has shut places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets, after a sharp rise in infections.

Economy updates

South Africa: The International Monetary Fund approved $4.3bn in aid to South Africa to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s finance minister, Tito Mboweni, in June predicted the economy would shrink 7.2% in 2020, its deepest slump in 90 years.

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