International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 13.5 million – US nears 3.5 million cases – rapid rise continues in Brazil

16th July 2020 (Last Updated July 16th, 2020 08:58)

16 July

Global: More than 13.5 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have had the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. US has 3,499,291 cases while Brazil is rapidly approaching 2 million with 1,966,748 cases.

Overall mortality of Covid-19 patients treated in intensive-care units fell to just under 42% at the end of May from almost 60% in March, according to the first systematic analysis of two dozen studies involving more than 10,000 patients in Asia, Europe and North America.

US: California reported a record 11,000 daily cases. California recorded its largest number of coronavirus infections in a single day on Tuesday, amid efforts to halt reopening statewide.

Brazil: President, Jair Bolsonaro, has again tested positive for Covid-19, he told reporters on Wednesday in Brasilia, suggesting he has yet to recover from an infection first diagnosed last week, Reuters reports.

Japan: Tokyo is likely to see coronavirus cases exceed 280 on Thursday – a daily record for the Japanese capital – according to the governor, Yuriko Koike.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported two more deaths and 317 cases on Thursday, the largest daily increase in cases for an Australian state since the start of the pandemic.

Canada: Canada’s efforts to flatten the curve have put the country on the brink of zero deaths for the first time since March, but officials see worrying signs of a new spike as provinces lift restrictions.

South Africa: South Africa surpassed 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases late on Wednesday. The country’s 311,049 cases make up close to half of Africa’s total.

Vaccine News

Global: Eight world leaders, including President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, issued a call for “global solidarity” for fairness in distributing any Covid-19 vaccine that may be developed.

US: Dr Anthony Fauci predicted on Wednesday the country would meet its goal of a vaccine by year’s end, he told Reuters in an interview, saying, “I feel good about the projected timetable.” Fauci’s comments came as US cases increased by a world daily record of more than 67,400, taking the total to nearly 3.5 million confirmed infections.

Lockdown updates

Ireland: Prime minister, Micheal Martin, said on Wednesday night the government continues to advise against non-essential overseas travel, as he announced that a planned move to “phase 4 reopening” had been postponed to 10 August because the country’s reproduction rate – the number of people infected by a virus carrier – had increased to more than 1.

Japan: Officials in Japan are questioning the government’s plans to boost domestic tourism amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the capital.

Spain: authorities on the island of Majorca have ordered bars on popular party streets in Magaluf and Palma to close, for fear that hard-drinking tourists will trigger a surge in coronavirus cases.

Canada: Air Canada tried to persuade the government of Justin Trudeau to ease restrictions on travel, pointing to policy shifts in other nations where the Covid-19 pandemic has shown signs of improvement.

Indonesia: the government plans to fine violators of social distancing rules under a new law as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to contain the biggest outbreak of coronavirus in Southeast Asia.

Economy updates

China: China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter, rebounding more strongly than expected from a historic contraction caused by the coronavirus outbreak, official data showed Thursday. Gross domestic product expanded a surprise 3.2% in April-June, the National Bureau of Statistics said.