New coronavirus has now killed over 468,000 people worldwide since the outbreak emerged in China last year, according to tracking websites. Here are the developments for June 21:

Turkish 8th grade students are equiped with protective face masks as they arrive at the Fevzi Ozbey secondary school in Ankara on June 20, 2020
Turkish 8th grade students are equiped with protective face masks as they arrive at the Fevzi Ozbey secondary school in Ankara on June 20, 2020 (AFP)

Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas

Tyson Foods is looking into reports that China's customs agency has suspended poultry imports from a Tyson facility in the United States after coronavirus cases were confirmed among its employees.

A Tyson spokesman said that the plant in question is in Springdale, Arkansas.

“At Tyson, our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, and we work closely with the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure that we produce all of our food in full compliance with government safety requirements,” wrote spokesman Gary Mickelson in an email to The Associated Press.

He added that all global and US health organisations agree that there is no evidence to support the transmission of Covid-19 associated with food.

The announcement out of China gave no details of the quantity of meat affected.

French deaths rise by seven to 29,640

The number of deaths in France from the virus has risen by seven from the previous day to stand at 29,640 said the country's national health service.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 284 to 160,377.

Saudi ends lockdown despite infection spike

Saudi Arabia ended a nationwide coronavirus curfew and lifted restrictions on businesses, including hair salons and cinemas, after three months of stringent curbs, despite a spike in infections.

Prayers were also allowed to resume in mosques in the holy city of Mecca, state media reported, just weeks before the annual hajj pilgrimage is due to start.

International flights and religious pilgrimages, however, remain suspended and social gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited, according to the interior ministry.

But Saudi Arabia's General Commission for Audiovisual Media announced the reopening of cinemas across the kingdom with strict guidelines on social distancing.

Morocco to resume domestic flights

Morocco will resume domestic flights starting June 25, the state news agency said, citing the ministry of tourism, air transport, handicrafts and social economy.

Earlier today, the government said it would further loosen lockdown measures for the services sector and domestic transport starting June 24, adding domestic travel would resume including flights and railways.

Turkey's recoveries exceed 160,000 mark

Turkey announced 1,412 more recoveries from the virus over the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to more than 160,000, according to the country’s health minister.

With the latest additions, the number of recoveries reached 160,240, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, citing the Health Ministry data.

“The number of recovered patients is 320 more than the new cases today. We should increase the gap with measures,” said Koca.

The death toll in the country rose to 4,950, as 23 new fatalities were reported over the past day.

India to manufacture virus drug as deaths soar top 13,500

India's drug regulator has given Hetero Labs the green light to manufacture and market its generic version of Gilead Science's experimental virus treatment remdesivir, the Indian pharmaceutical company said on Sunday.

The drug, which will be marketed under the brand name Covifor, will likely be priced at $66-$79 for a 100-milligram dose, Hetero said.

India's Cipla Ltd has also received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and market the drug, according to a report in Indian Express.

The virus has infected 421,765 in India and killed about 13,502 people. 

Dutch police arrest dozens protesting virus restrictions

Police in The Hague arrested dozens of people after they refused to leave a protest against the Dutch government's social distancing measures put in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

About a thousand protesters had gathered in the Malieveld area in The Hague, close to the Dutch seat of government, even though the rally had been banned by the municipality.

"The remaining demonstrators on the Malieveld who refused to leave have all been arrested," the police tweeted on Twitter, without saying how many people had been detained.

Dutch media said about 100 people were arrested. A witness gave a similar estimate.

Virus slowing down in UK

No new virus deaths have been recorded in Scotland or Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, according to official figures, more evidence that the spread of the virus is slowing in the UK.

The government said that 43 deaths were recorded in all settings across the UK in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s official pandemic death toll to 42,632.

The daily virus mortality figure is one of the country's lowest on record, though numbers often fall on weekends because of delays in registering deaths.

Greece reports one new death

Greece has reported one more death from the virus and 19 new confirmed new cases from a day earlier. The country's total number of confirmed cases now stands at 3,254, with 190 deaths.

Greek authorities said the median age of everyone who tested positive is 48 and 76 for those who died.

North Macedonia reaches daily record

North Macedonia reached a new daily record with 11 virus-related fatalities.

The deaths brought North Macedonia's toll in the pandemic to 233 and confirmed cases to 5,005 as of Saturday. Infections began to climb there early this month after authorities lifted movement restrictions and ended a curfew.

Health Minister Venko Filipce said in a TV interview that cases are increasing because residents ignored recommendations to avoid family gatherings, to wear masks and to maintain social distance.

UK to unveil lockdown easing plans

Britain will outline its plans to ease the lockdown this week, health minister Matt Hancock said, potentially relaxing the two-metre rule on social distancing, allowing many businesses to reopen in early July.

Many employers, especially in the hospitality and leisure sectors, have said the rule that people must remain two metres apart will prevent them from being able to operate as lockdown measures are lifted.

"We're about to see another step in the plan," Hancock told BBC TV.

"This week we will announce further details of the measures we can take to relieve some of the national lockdown measures at the start of July, including on July 4."

Asked if the two-metre rule would be amended in the plans to be announced this week, he said: "I very much hope that we can."

He said there were mitigations to allow people to be closer than two metres while limiting the risk of spreading the virus and they would set out details about how businesses could comply.

He said it was possible people would have to register their details before going to a pub or a restaurant.

Indonesia reports 862 new infections, 36 new deaths

Indonesia reported 862 new infections, taking its total number of cases to 45,891.

Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said there were 36 more deaths reported, with total fatalities now at 2,465, the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside of China.

Russia reports fewer than 8,000 new cases

Russia on Sunday reported 7,728 new cases, pushing its nationwide case tally to 584,680 since the crisis began.

The national coronavirus response centre said that 109 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 8,111.

Spain reopens its borders 

Passengers wearing masks and wheeling suitcases arrived at Madrid's main airport as Spain opened its borders to most European countries and ended a state of emergency imposed to contain the virus.

Spain's borders are now open to all European Union countries except Portugal, as well as Schengen Area members outside the bloc and Britain in a much-needed boost to the country's tourism industry which accounts for more than 12% of the economy.

Spaniards were also allowed to move freely around the country from Sunday and many were expected to visit friends, relatives and second homes in other regions.

Pakistan to reopen border with Afghanistan

Pakistan says it will reopen a key border crossing with Afghanistan to allow trade between the neighbours.

Trucks carrying fruits, vegetables, and other items will start crossing the Ghulam Khan border in northwestern North Waziristan district from Monday.

Pakistan has already reopened its border with Iran.

On Sunday, Pakistan reported 119 more Covid-19 deaths and 4,951 new cases, raising its total to 176,617 cases including 3,501 fatalities.

Pakistan put its entire population of 220 million in lockdown in March, but the government last month eased restrictions, saying it was necessary to save the economy even though cases went up.

Coronavirus resurgence continues in South Korea

South Korea continues to struggle to contain a resurgence that has seen some of the country’s hard-won pandemic gains erased since social distancing rules were eased in mid-April.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 48 new Covid-19 cases Sunday, bringing the national caseload to 12,421 infections, with 280 deaths.

The agency says 24 of the new cases are in the Seoul region, which has been the center of the country’s outbreak since late May. Ten of the new cases, however, are from the central city of Daejeon, indicating the virus is beginning to spread more broadly.

Some experts say the country should reimpose stronger social distancing guidelines, but officials are reluctant to do so in fear of hurting an already fragile economy.

Australia's Victoria extends state of emergency as cases surge

Australia's second most populous state, Victoria, extended its state of emergency for four more weeks to July 19, as it battles a spike in coronavirus infections with a pick-up in community transmission.

The move came a day after the state announced it would reimpose restrictions capping visitors to households to five people and outdoor gatherings to 10, starting Monday. The limits had been relaxed to allow 20 people in households and public gatherings on June 1.

Victoria reported 19 new infections on Sunday, the fifth day of double digit-rises.
The state has now had 1,836 total confirmed cases, or a quarter of the cases in Australia, since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 687 to 189,822

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 687 to 189,822, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The Institute also reported a death toll of 8,882. On Saturday, the figure stood at 8,883. No explanation was given why the number in Sunday's tally decreased by one. 

China reports 26 new cases

Mainland China reported 26 new confirmed coronavirus cases, down from 27 a day earlier, driven largely by the latest outbreak of Covid-19 in the Chinese capital.

Of the new infections, 22 were in Beijing, the National Health Commission said in a statement, the same as a day earlier.

The city of more than 20 million people reported its first case in the latest wave on June 11. The resurgence has been linked to a wholesale food centre in the southwest of Beijing. So far, 227 people in the city have been infected in the latest outbreak.

Mexico reports 4,717 new infections

Mexico reported 4,717 new infections and 387 additional deaths from the coronavirus, the health ministry said, bringing the total number in the country to 175,202 cases and 20,781 deaths.

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

Brazil fatalities inch towards 50,000

Nearly 50,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Brazil, the world No. 2 hotspot, with 1,022 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said.

A total of 49,976 people have officially died from COVID-19 in Brazil, according to the ministry, with a total of 1,067,579 confirmed cases. Only the United States has recorded more deaths and cases.

Brazil confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on February 26 and passed 1 million cases on Friday.

South Africa reports nearly 5,000 new cases

South Africa has reported 4,966 new confirmed cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 92,681, the Health Ministry announced.

“Regrettably, we report a further 46 Covid-19-related deaths – 11 from Eastern Cape, 3 from KwaZulu Natal and 32 from Western Cape provinces. This brings the total deaths to 1,877,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement.

Palestinian Authority to temporarily close Hebron, Nablus

The Palestinian Authority announced it was temporarily closing the cities of Hebron and Nablus in the occupied West Bank for after a sharp rise in infections.

Only goods will be allowed in, Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh told journalists. Authorities have reported a total of 687 cases in the West Bank, including two deaths so far.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies