Global pandemic has now infected over 16.2 million people and has killed more than 649,000. Here are the latest updates for July 26:

A volunteer sprays disinfectant on cattle to help to contain the spread of coronavirus, at a market set up for the upcoming Muslim festival Eid al Adha in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
A volunteer sprays disinfectant on cattle to help to contain the spread of coronavirus, at a market set up for the upcoming Muslim festival Eid al Adha in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (AP)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Pakistan fears Eid spike after success in recoveries

A Pakistani health official has warned that the coronavirus curve that flattened last month could spike again in the country if people violate social distancing regulations during the upcoming Eid al Adha festival.

The three-day festival will be celebrated in Pakistan starting July 31.

The health official, Zafar Mirza, said at a news conference on Sunday that more than 80 percent of coronavirus patients have recovered in Pakistan. 

UK defends removing Spain from travel corridor 

Britain's foreign secretary defended the government’s decision to immediately impose Covid-19 quarantine measures on UK travellers returning from Spain, saying it just wasn't possible to give them more notice.

Dominic Raab told Sky News that vague advice would have created more uncertainty. 

He said that the government must be able to take quick action to fight the virus.

Spain's toll could be 60 percent higher than official count

Spain's Covid-19 death toll could be nearly 60 percent higher than the official figure of 28,432, according to an investigation by El Pais newspaper published on Sunday. 

The country's official death toll includes only people who were formally diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, not suspected cases who were never tested.

By counting regional statistics of all suspected and confirmed fatalities from the virus, El Pais reached a total of 44,868 deaths. 

If accurate, that would make Spain's outbreak the second deadliest in Europe after Britain's.

Soccer-Fuenlabrada denied shot at promotion to La Liga

Spanish side Fuenlabrada's final match that was postponed after several players tested positive for Covid-19 has been officially suspended and will not take place, denying the second division side a shot at promotion, La Liga said on Sunday.

Fuenlabrada, who were due to play Deportivo La Coruna last week, confirmed 12 more positive tests on Saturday, bringing the number of cases at the club to 28.

Republican US coronavirus relief bill set to be unveiled

President Donald Trump's fellow Republicans in the Senate are set to unveil a $1 trillion US coronavirus relief bill on Monday that includes reduced federal unemployment benefits, with treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin saying he believes they can work with Democrats to move quickly on the legislation.

Republicans said they are looking at an extension of unemployment benefits that replace 70 percent of a person's wages before they lost their job. 

Mnuchin said on Saturday the Trump administration supports extending enhanced unemployment benefits until the end of the year, but at a reduced level.

The bill comes as the US state of Florida on Sunday became the second state after California to overtake New York in infections, according to a Reuters tally.

Total Covid-19 cases in the Sunshine State rose by 9,300 to 423,855 on Sunday, just one place behind California, which now leads the country with 448,497 cases. 

New York is in third place with 415,827 cases.

Spain locks down popular venues

Spain is imposing lockdown restrictions on nightclubs, bars and beaches.

The northeast region of Catalonia now hosts two of the most worrying Covid-19 hot spots in the country, prompting authorities in Barcelona and an interior agricultural area around Lleida to tighten restrictions that were relaxed only a month ago when Spain had its devastating outbreak in check.

South Korea sees drop in numbers

The number of South Korea’s new coronavirus cases has fallen back to below 60, a day after it reported more than 100 cases for the first time in nearly four months.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 58 additional cases over the past 24-hour period, bringing the total to 14,150 with 298 deaths.

North Korea locks down border city

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found there with suspected Covid-19 symptoms, saying “the vicious virus” may have entered the country, state media reported.

If the person is officially declared a coronavirus patient, he or she would be North Korea’s first confirmed case. The North has steadfastly said it has had no cases of the virus, a claim questioned by outside experts.

The lockdown was declared on Friday afternoon. The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the suspected virus patient is a runaway who fled to South Korea three years ago before illegally crossing the border into the North early last week.

South Africa sees 12,000 new cases

South Africa announces more than 12,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, as the total in one of the world’s worst affected countries reaches 434,200 with 6,655 deaths.

South Africa makes up well over half the confirmed cases on the African continent.

Singapore reports new cases

Singapore's health ministry has reported 481 new coronavirus cases, taking the country's total count to 50,371 infections.

Vietnam sees second case in three months

Vietnam has reintroduced social distancing measures in the central city of Danang after a second locally-transmitted  coronavirus case was detected there, more than three months after any cases were reported in the country.

Danang is a tourist hot spot.

Australia sees spike in one day

Australia sees highest-ever daily death toll from Covid-19, with 10 people dying over the past 24 hours.

Authorities in Victoria state are battling scores of clusters of infections and have intensified efforts to trace their contacts.

China reports 46 new cases

China reported 46 coronavirus cases in the mainland up from 34 cases a day earlier, the health commission said.

Of the new infections, 22 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases.

It also reported two new asymptomatic cases, down from 74 a day earlier.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,830 cases, the health authority said.

US marks over 68,000 cases

The United States recorded 68,212 virus cases in the previous 24 hours, Johns Hopkins University reported in its real-time tally.

That brought the total number of cases in the world's hardest-hit country to 4,174,437, the Baltimore-based university said.

Another 1,067 deaths were reported, bringing the country's total fatalities to 146,391.

Lebanon sees the highest daily count of cases

Lebanon has reported the highest daily count of virus cases with 175, bringing the total to more than 3,500.

Lebanese officials warn of a spike in infections following the easing of restrictions after the country’s only airport opened on July 1.

The country of about 5 million has 47 confirmed deaths and 3,582 reported cases. The government is considering reintroducing restrictions, including closing gyms and nightclubs, which reopened for business after the country relaxed its lockdown.

North Korea puts Kaesong city in lockdown 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected Covid-19 symptoms, saying he believes “the vicious virus” may have entered the country, state media reported.

If the person is officially declared a virus patient, he or she would be the North’s first confirmed case. 

North Korea has steadfastly said it has no single case on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts.

Brazil reports 1,211 deaths

Brazil registered an additional 1,211 deaths attributable to the virus over the last 24 hours and another 51,147 confirmed cases, the health ministry said.

The South American nation has now registered 86,449 deaths and 2,394,513 total confirmed cases. 

Mexico logs 6,751 cases, 729 new deaths

Mexico's Health Ministry reported 6,751virus cases and 729 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 385,036 cases and 43,374 total deaths.

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

Costa Rica registers record 931 cases 

Costa Rica's Health Ministry reported a record 931 and 11 virus deaths, both single-day highs for the small Central American nation where 72 percent of all its confirmed cases have been registered since the beginning of this month.

In total, Costa Rican authorities have reported 14,600 virus cases and 98 deaths in the country of 5 million people.

Despite the increase in cases, hotels are operational and the government has announced European, British, and Canadian tourists will be allowed to enter the country beginning August.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies