The global coronavirus pandemic has infected 12 million people and claimed over 549,000 lives. Here are updates for July 8:

A man wearing a face mask walks past a coronavirus awareness mural depicting children of various faiths praying while wearing face masks in Depok, Indonesia on July 8, 2020
A man wearing a face mask walks past a coronavirus awareness mural depicting children of various faiths praying while wearing face masks in Depok, Indonesia on July 8, 2020 (AP)

Wednesday, July 8

Global cases cross 12 million

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases has passed 12 million, according to Worldometers and Corona Tracker websites. The grim milestone comes as the global death toll approaches 550,000.

US infections top three million

The United States has passed another grim coronavirus milestone with three million confirmed cases, as US President Donald Trump downplayed the risks posed by the pandemic and aggressively pushed for schools to fully reopen.

The coronavirus is surging in several southern hotspots including Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Arizona, while it has almost entirely receded from its former epicentre in New York and the north-east.

Johns Hopkins University put the total at 3,009,611, in its real-time tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Hospitalisation duration shortens in Turkey

Turkey registered 1,041 new cases over the past day, bringing the tally to 208,938. Death toll rose to 5,282 with 22 new fatalities.

As many as 2,219 people in Turkey recovered from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, said the country's health minister on Wednesday.

"The average hospitalisation duration in Turkey was 21-22 days, now it is around three days, and the average intensive care duration was 18-20 days, now it is around two," Fahrettin Koca told a news conference following a meeting of the country's Coronavirus Scientific Advisory Board.

France reports 32 new deaths

The number of deaths in France from the new coronavirus has risen by 32 from the previous day to stand at 29,965 the country's health department said.

That figure is almost twice as high as the daily average of 18 seen over the last seven days. In June, France counted 34 additional deaths every day on average, in May 143 and in April 695.

Italy to monitor sewage for possible new outbreak

Italy plans to monitor wastewater nationwide for a possible early warning about any renewed outbreak of Covid-19 infections, the National Institute of Health (ISS) said.

The move underscores Italy's hope to be well prepared for any new wave of the coronavirus. Italy became one of the countries hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year; to date, it has recorded 242,149 cases and 34,914 deaths.

The wastewater-monitoring project will focus on priority sites such as tourist resorts in a first phase starting this month. It will be expanded in October with a surveillance network extended to all Italian cities.

Iran's death toll exceeds 12,000 

Iran's death toll has exceeded 12,000, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased.

The total number of infections has reached 248,379, with 209,463 people having recovered, the health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said in a statement on state TV.

Iran recorded 200 deaths from virus within a 24-hour period on Tuesday, the highest official figure recorded by the ministry.

Oman's cases surpass 50,000

The number of confirmed cases in Oman exceeded 50,000, the Health Ministry said.

The country reported another 1,210 cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours, to take its total count to 50,207 cases with 233 deaths.

Spains's Catalonia makes masks obligatory 

Catalonia's regional authorities will decide to make it mandatory to wear masks regardless of people's ability to maintain a safe distance, becoming Spain's first region to do so, Catalan regional leader Quim Torra said.

Torra said the measure would come into force on Thursday.

Wearing masks indoors and outdoors is mandatory in Spain if people cannot guarantee a 1.5-metre distance from one another until a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus is found.

Indonesia reports 1,853 cases

Indonesia reported its biggest single-day increase in cases, with 1,853 infections, taking the case total to 68,079.

There were 50 new deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 3,359, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Day record takes Romania's cases to more than 30,000

The number of infections in Romania rose by a daily record of 555 new cases on the day taking the cumulative total to 30,175 cases, the government said, as the country is under a state of alert that is due to end on July 15.

Since Romania's outbreak came to light on February 26, 1,817 people have died.

President Klaus Iohannis ordered a strict lockdown in March to help rein in the outbreak and then replaced the state of emergency with the softer state of alert.

Russia's case tally passes 700,000
The total number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Russia passed 700,000, as the country reported 6,562 new infections in the past 24 hours.

The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 173 people had died from the virus overnight, taking the official death toll to 10,667.

Total infections stand at 700,792. Russia says 472,511 people have recovered.

Cases in Nigeria near 30,000

More than 500 new cases of coronavirus in Nigeria have raised the nationwide tally to 29,789, authorities announced.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 503 more cases and 15 fatalities were recorded in the country during the past 24 hours.

The death toll in the country rose to 669 and a total of 12,108 patients have recovered from the virus.

As part of efforts to curb the virus’s spread, Nigeria has introduced several measures at airports across the country.

Nigeria has the third-highest number of cases in Africa, after Egypt and South Africa.

Germany's confirmed cases rise to 197,341

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 397 to 197,341, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 12 to 9,036, the tally showed.

Australia mulls limiting return of residents from abroad

Australia's coronavirus emergency cabinet will consider limiting the number of its citizens and residents returning home from overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

The prime minister added there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria, the country's second-most populous state, enforced stay-at-home rules in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.

US posts new daily record of 60,209 cases

The US, the country hardest hit by the coronavirus, posted 60,209 new cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

The country was just shy of three million cases, at 2,991,351, the Baltimore-based university said in its latest data as of 0030GMT Wednesday.

The death toll stood at 131,362, with 1,114 additional deaths counted.

Brazil registers over 1,200 deaths 

Brazil registered 45,305 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and1,254 additional deaths, the nation's health ministry has said. 

The Latin American nation has now registered 1,668,589 total cases and 66,741 deaths attributable to the virus 

At least eight Mississippi lawmakers test positive 

At least eight Mississippi lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus after working for weeks in a Capitol where many people stood or sat close together and did not wear masks. 

Among those who have publicly acknowledged having Covid-19 are Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, and House Speaker Philip Gunn. 

The state health officer, Dr Thomas Dobbs, said there are also at least 11 other suspected cases of the virus among legislators and Capitol employees. In addition, Dobbs said the highly contagious virus is spreading at parties and other social gatherings around the state.

Mexico's death toll tops 32,000

Mexico's health ministry has reported 6,258 new infections and 895 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 268,008 cases and 32,014 deaths. 

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases

Chile tops 300,000 cases 

Chile surpassed 300,000 cases after reporting more than 2,400 new infections over the last 24 hours, prompting the South American country to move ahead with easing its lockdown. 

There were 50 new deaths, bringing the total to more than 6,400, although the health ministry believes another 3,500 deaths were probably caused by the virus. 

Chile's numbers have been declining for more than three weeks, and the country is now planning to ease confinement measures.

Serbia imposes weekend curfew 

Serbia on Tuesday imposed a weekend curfew in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a televised address to the nation, President Aleksandar Vucic said that the situation is alarming in the capital Belgrade, and serious in four more cities. 

He said that Tuesday was the most difficult day since the beginning of the pandemic, recalling that 13 people had died in the past 24 hours.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies