Novel coronavirus has infected more than 10.6 million people around the world, killing at least 515,000 people. Here are updates for July 1:

A father and his daughter are seen during a sunrise at Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 1, 2020
A father and his daughter are seen during a sunrise at Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 1, 2020 (Reuters)

Wednesday, July 1

Global tourism faces minimum $1.2-trillion hit from virus

The coronavirus crisis could cost global tourism and related sectors from $1.2 to $3.3 trillion in lost revenue, the United Nations has said.

Lockdown restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 have hammered the tourism sector particularly hard, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said in a report.

The world tourism industry is expected to lose at least $1.2 trillion in the best-case scenario, UNCTAD calculated.

In the most pessimistic scenario, UNCTAD projected losses of $3.3 trillion or 4.2 percent of global GDP.

UN adopts resolution calling for pandemic-related halt to conflicts

The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a halt to conflicts to facilitate the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, after three months of negotiations, diplomats said.

The resolution calls for "an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations" on the Security Council's agenda. 

Oxford University has seen 'right sort of immune response' in trial

A leading scientist behind the University of Oxford's potential Covid-19 vaccine said on Wednesday the team has seen the right sort of immune response in trials, which have entered the Phase III clinical stage.

Speaking at a parliamentary hearing, Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the university, said the trial has enrolled 8,000 volunteers for Phase III of its trial into the vaccine, AZD1222, which was licensed to AstraZeneca.

She said she couldn't give a timeline for when the vaccine might be ready as it depends on the results of the trial. 

UK Covid-19 death toll rises 176 to 43,906

The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose 176 on Wednesday to 43,906 from 43,730 the day before, government figures showed.

Including suspected cases, the toll is approaching 55,000, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources.

Indonesia reports 1,385 new coronavirus cases

Indonesia on Wednesday reported 1,385 new coronavirus cases and 58 deaths, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

The country has reported 57,770 cases and 2,934 deaths to date.

Four more MLS players test positive for the virus in Orlando

Major League Soccer announced on Wednesday that four more players have tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Florida ahead of the start of next week's MLS is Back Tournament.

That brings to six the number of players who have tested positive for Covid-19 since arriving at Orlando next Wednesday's kick-off.

All 26 MLS teams are set to stay in a 'bubble' and will play matches without spectators at Walt Disney World.

No specific teams or players were identified, but the league said that in the past two days, a total of 392 players, coaches, referees, MLS staff and club staff had been tested in the past two days at the host hotel to detect the four positive cases.

New Burundi leader hints he'll take Covid-19 more seriously

Burundi’s new president has signalled that his government will take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously than his dead predecessor, calling the virus the country’s "worst enemy" and announcing new screenings.

President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Tuesday said the screenings will be launched wherever clusters of cases are suspected, and that soap prices and water bills will be reduced.

Protest against South Africa's vaccine test 

Anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets in Johannesburg on Wednesday to voice their concern over Africa's first human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine.

Last Wednesday, the University of the Witwatersrand in partnership with Oxford University rolled out South Africa's first clinical trial, which will consist of 2,000 volunteers.

The involvement of South Africa in vaccine trials is intended to ensure the continent will have access to an affordable vaccine and not be left at the back of the queue.

Spain, Portugal open border to tourism

Spain and Portugal's prime ministers officially reopened their joint border to all travellers after a three-month closure to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In the presence of Spain's King Felipe and Portugal'sPresident Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Spanish Prime Minister PedroSanchez and his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa, solemnly opened the border. 

All other travel restrictions within the European Union were lifted last week.

"Our shared prosperity and common destiny within theEuropean project depend on this border being open," Costa tweeted . "The pandemic offered us a new vision of the past we do not want to come back to: a continent with closed borders."

Philippines confirm 999 new infections, 4 more deaths

The Philippines' health ministry reported 999 more virus infections and four additional deaths.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have reached 38,511 while deaths have increased to 1,270.

WHO urges prioritising both health and economy

The World Health Organization says countries must strive to ensure that the “new normal” simultaneously prioritises health and the economy so they can recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Woochong Um, the director general for the Asia Development Bank’s sustainable development and climate change sector, said that the pandemic will reduce developing Asia’s growth to its lowest in six decades.

Um says the pandemic has spared no economy in the region.

WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Takeshi Kasai says communities must be prepare d for more case surges in the future.

He says as long as the virus is circulating somewhere, no country is safe. He says we must continue responding to the current situation and preparing every corner of every country for the possibility of large-scale community transmission.

Recoveries in Pakistan hit 50 percent, cases still up

The number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus in Pakistan has surpassed 100,000, about 50 percent of total infections.

The virus has spread in Pakistan at one of the fastest rates in the world since February, and the deaths have jumped since May, when Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown despite warnings from experts.

In Wednesday’s statement, the national command and control centre said 100,802 patients have recovered out of 213,469 confirmed cases. Pakistan recorded 41,33 more cases and 91 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The government data show 2,741 people are still listed in critical condition.

Pakistan has sealed off hot spots across the country since last month to contain the spread of virus, saying the country’s economy cannot afford a stricter lockdown.

Malta reopens airport in a bid to rescue tourism

Malta reopened its airport to allow visitors from several European countries, but the move will not include Britain, which accounts for 30 percent of the island's tourist arrivals.

The reopened connections include cities in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

"We hope to welcome 700,000 tourists by the end of the year," Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli told a news conference.

Talks are underway to widen the list of destinations, particularly Britain.

Tony Zahra, president of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, said he expected a slow start with possibly 15 percent of arrivals in July compared to the same month last year.

Greece reopens regional airports to intl flights

Regional airports across Greece, including top tourist destination islands, began accepting direct international flights again.

International travellers have been able to fly into Greece since June 15, but only to Athens or the northern city of Thessaloniki. From July 1, tourists can fly directly to Greek islands and other airports in the mainland.

Apart from travellers from the 27-member European Union, Greece is also allowing in those who are resident in 14 non-EU countries that the EU has deemed safe for virus transmissions.

It is also allowing in all Greek citizens or members of the Greek diaspora regardless of where they fly in from, as well as third country nationals who have permanent residence in Greece or are family members of European nationals, and a broad list of people considered essential workers.

Direct flights from the United Kingdom and Sweden, however, have been banned until July 15.

Tokyo Disneyland reopens, but no Mickey photos

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea reopened after being closed for four months due to the pandemic, with hundreds of visitors applauding as they were let in.

The two parks have new guidelines, including limiting the number of entrants in three shifts to maintain social distancing.

No handshakes, hugging or photos taken with Mickey Mouse and other characters are allowed.

Though characters greet guests from afar, their signature parades and shows have been suspended to avoid crowds.

Entrants are asked to get their temperatures checked at the gate, sanitise their hands and wear masks while in the park.

Beijing lifts some lockdowns as virus cases drop

Beijing lifted several lockdowns imposed to control a fresh virus outbreak and reported just three new cases in the city, raising hopes that the cluster had been brought under control.

The Chinese capital had closed off dozens of residential compounds and carried out mass testing last month after hundreds of infections raised fears of a virus resurgence.

But five residential communities that have had no new virus cases during a control period were released from lockdown on Tuesday, state media reported, as the city relaxed curbs.

Indonesia reports 1,385 new cases and 58 deaths

Indonesia reported1,385 virus cases and 58 deaths, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

The country has reported 57,770 cases and 2,934 deaths to date.

Russia reports 6,556 new cases

Russia reported 6,556 new cases of the virus, taking its nationwide tally to 654,405.

The country's virus response centre said 216 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,536.

Tokyo confirms 67 new cases of infection

Tokyo confirmed 67 new cases infection, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May, public broadcaster NHK reported.

It was also the sixth straight day in which Tokyo had confirmed more than 50 cases, NHK said.

Thailand schools reopen with strict hygiene rules

Mask-wearing pupils catching up with friends at one Bangkok high school were quickly told to spread out as they headed back to lessons after months of distance learning due to virus restrictions.

The teenagers, resuming classes along with all other public school students in the kingdom, chatted animatedly before being called to sit in widely spaced rows for the opening session.

Ahead of Wednesday's nationwide resumption of classes, authorities recommended that class sizes be restricted to 20-25 students while doorknobs, desks and other areas at risk of spreading infection be sanitised frequently throughout the day.

Victoria state premier on Melbourne suburbs lockdown

Thousands of residents in dozens of suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, were preparing to lockdown for a month on Wednesday with the Victoria premier warning a state-wide shutdown is possible if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

State Premier Daniel Andrews announced 73 new virus cases with a "significant" number of them recorded in hotspot suburbs, marking the 15th straight day of double-digit increases in case numbers.

Andrews told reporters in the country's second-largest city  the virus threat "won't be over for a long time".

Officials said 36 suburbs in which residents will be required to stay at home from Wednesday night until July 29 except for four permitted reasons.

Residents will face fines if they leave home for reasons other than to give or receive care, to exercise, to buy essentials or to go to work or school.

Philippines extends lockdown in central city

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has retained a strict lockdown in a central city he described as a new virus hot spot, while the capital and the rest of the country were placed in lighter quarantines.

Duterte made the announcement Tuesday night on TV, further stretching three-month lockdowns and quarantines that officials call successful but his critics describe as ridden with failures and confusion.

The Philippines has among the most virus cases in Southeast Asia with more than 37,500 people infected, including 1,266 who have died.

Duterte blamed Cebu city, which will remain under a lockdown up to July 15, for many violations of the rules that led to infection spikes.

South Korea weighs listing churches as 'high risk'

South Korea is considering including religious facilities on the same list with nightclubs, hostess bars and karaoke rooms as “high risk” venues for the spread of Covid-19 following a slew of transmissions tied to church gatherings.

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said during a virus meeting on Wednesday that more than 40 percent of the country’s newly confirmed infections over the previous three days have been traced back to places of worship.

He pleaded people to refrain from religious gatherings and criticised churches and other facilities for failing to implement proper preventive measures, such as requiring followers to wear masks and sit apart during services.

High-risk facilities are advised to close or otherwise must enforce anti-virus measures, including distancing, temperature checks, keeping customer lists and requiring employees and visitors to wear masks. They are also required to register visitors with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed.

Thailand reports 2 new imported cases in quarantine

Thailand confirmed two new virus cases, both of which were imported from abroad, marking 37 successive days without domestic transmission.

The new cases were Thai nationals returning from Kuwait and were found in state quarantine, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman for the government's virus task force.

The coronavirus has infected 3,173 people in Thailand, of which 3,059 patients have recovered. There have been 58 deaths so far, but none for almost one month.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 466 to 194,725

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 466 to 194,725, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 12 to 8,985, the tally showed.

Oregon extends Covid-19 state of emergency

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has extended the Covid-19 state of emergency for 60 days. She said as of Tuesday there have been over 8,600 coronavirus cases in the state, with over a quarter of those cases identified in the past two weeks. 

The Oregon Health Authority said 207 people in Oregon have died from the disease.

The state of emergency declaration is the legal underpinning for the executive orders Brown has issued throughout the pandemic, including her orders on reopening Oregon, as well as orders related to childcare, schools, and higher education operations.

Extending the state of emergency declaration allows those orders to stay in effect. She will review and reevaluate each of her emergency orders every 60 days. Brown said this extension will last through September 4.

US in far better position to battle virus, says Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence is stressing the country is in a far better position to battle the coronavirus than it was months ago, even as cases continue to rise, especially across the south.

Pence put a positive spin on the progress at a briefing by the White House’s coronavirus task force at the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps headquarters in Maryland Tuesday.

He says: “’We want to assure you that we’re ready – more ready than ever before – to meet this coronavirus pandemic.”

Task force members outlined improvements in testing capacity, the availability of protective gear, and new therapeutics even as the US is now reporting about 40,000 new cases daily.

The comments came hours after the nation’s top infectious diseases expert warned during a congressional hearing that “we’re going in the wrong direction” and said the country could soon see as many as 100,000 new cases a day.

Still, Pence said the administration fully supports the decision of some states to-shutter certain business or delay reopening efforts due to rising cases.

US fatalities on the rise with more than new 1,000 deaths

The US recorded 1,199 fatalities from the coronavirus during the past 24 hours, as the country's death toll began to climb again, the Johns Hopkins University tally showed.

The number of daily deaths had not exceeded 1,000 since June 10.

The country has suffered 127,322 deaths overall, according to the Baltimore-based institution as of 0030GMT.

The US also registered 42,528 new cases of coronavirus during the past 24 hours.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said coronavirus cases could grow to 100,000 a day in the US if Americans don’t start following public health recommendations.

He made the remark at a Senate hearing on reopening schools and workplaces.

Asked to forecast the outcome of recent surges in some states, Fauci said he can’t make an accurate prediction but believes it will be “very disturbing.”

“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned,” said Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health.

Fauci said areas seeing recent outbreaks are putting the entire nation at risk, including areas that have made progress in reducing Covid-19 cases. He cited recent video footage of people socializing in crowds, oft en without masks, and otherwise ignoring safety guidelines.

China reports three new virus cases

China has reported just three new confirmed cases of coronavirus, all in the capital Beijing where an outbreak last month appears to have run its course amid intense testing and case tracing.

No new deaths were reported, leaving the toll at 4,634 among 83,534 cases of Covid-19 recorded since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The National Health Commission said 421 people are in treatment with another 108 under monitoring for being possible cases or having tested positive for the virus without showing symptoms .

With 328 cases reported since June 11, Beijing has reinstated some prevention measures, suspended classes for schoolchildren and carried out 8.3 million virus tests among the city’s more than 20 million residents.

South Korea begins supply of Gilead's remdesivir

South Korea started supplying Gilead's antiviral drug for the treatment of the novel coronavirus, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

The first batch of remdesivir will come from Gilead's donation until July, while the health authorities will negotiate the price for supply after August, KCDC said in a statement.

Mexico registers 5,432 new cases, 648 more deaths
Mexico's health ministry reported 5,432 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 648 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 226,089 cases and 27,769 deaths.

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

First case reported in asylum seeker camp at US-Mexico border

An international disaster relief organisation reported the first confirmed case of Covid-19 among migrants living in a tent encampment of asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border.

Global Response Management said that one person in the Matamoros, Tamaulipas camp across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas had tested positive.

“Aggressive isolation and tracing measures have been enacted,” the US-based relief organisation said via Twitter.

There are some 2,000 asylum seekers living in tents along the border. The migrants from Central America and other parts of the world have been stranded by the United States’ suspension of asylum hearings due to the pandemic through at least mid-July.

Trump 'more and more angry at China' over virus

US President Donald Trump said he was growing "more and more angry at China" over the spread of the coronavirus.

"As I watch the pandemic spread its ugly face all across the world, including the tremendous damage it has done to the USA, I become more and more angry at China", Trump tweeted.

The global pandemic, which Trump blames on Beijing, has intensified already strong tensions between the two countries over an ongoing trade war.

China has accused Trump's administration of politicising the pandemic to deflect from its own handling of the illness, with the US suffering by far the highest death toll of any country.
US officials, meanwhile, have urged greater transparency from China.

Brazil military moves to protect Indigenous people deep in Amazon forest

Brazil's military delivered protective supplies and medicines by helicopter to isolated Amazon indigenous communities bordering Venezuela and tested frightened members for Covid-19.

None tested positive to the rapid finger-prick tests, but the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to decimate hundreds of Amazon tribes that have no immunity to external diseases and whose communal lifestyle rules out social distancing.

The operation to help the Yanomami, who live on Brazil's largest reservation, is aimed at countering criticism that the right-wing government of President Jair Bolsonaro is not doing enough to protect indigenous people from contagion.

The Army airlifted supplies from the Roraima state capital of Boa Vista on a Blackhawk helicopter to a military frontier post deep in the rainforest, with boxes of face masks, alcohol gel, aprons, gloves, tests and medicines, including 13 ,500 pills of the controversial anti-malaria drug chloroquine.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies