The coronavirus pandemic has now infected over 21 million people and has killed more than 758,000. Here are the latest updates for August 14:
Friday, August 14, 2020
Turkey records 1,226 new cases
Turkey has registered 1,226 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally to 246,861.
A total of 923 patients have recovered from Covid-19 over the past day, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter, adding that the total number of recoveries had reached 228,980.
US extends non-essential travel ban
The US Department of Homeland Security has said that a Covid-19 ban on non-essential travel through border crossings with Canada and Mexico was being extended until September 21.
The reciprocal travel ban aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus was first imposed in March and has been extended several times since then.
UK daily cases highest since June
The United Kingdom recorded 1,441 positive tests for Covid-19, the highest daily tally since June 14, according to government data.
Daily cases have come in above the 1,000 mark for five of the last six days.
A further 11 people were reported to have died after testing positive for the virus within 28 days.
Greece rolls out more virus restrictions
Greece has set a temporary 50-person limit on public gatherings and said restaurants and bars in Athens and other areas must close by midnight, as the country seeks to contain a recent spike in virus infections.
The deputy civil protection minister said the limit on public gatherings would last until August 24 and be imposed in parts of the country where infection numbers have risen.
Earlier, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged young people to wear masks, reminding them that they are not invulnerable to the novel coronavirus and could unwittingly infect their own families.
Recent data has shown virus infections have started to spread among lower age groups, Mitsotakis said, and he urged those returning from vacation to large urban centres to wear masks.
“No measures can substitute for personal responsibility, particularly that of young people to protect their parents and grandparents,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said.
Germany declares most of Spain a virus risk region
Germany declared nearly all of Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, a virus risk region following a spike in cases there.
The move deals a blow to hopes for a swift revival of mass tourism after months of lockdown all but wiped out this year's high season in Europe.
The Bild daily had reported earlier that Mallorca had been added to the list of high-risk regions published by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's public health agency.
The latest version of the RKI's list on its website said the whole of mainland Spain and the Balearic islands were risk regions.
France reports new post-lockdown peak in daily virus cases
The French health ministry has reported 2,846 new virus infections over the past 24 hours, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the third day in a row and taking the country's cumulative total of cases to 212,211.
The seven-day moving average of new infections, which averages out weekly data reporting irregularities, increased to 2,041, doubling over the last two weeks, and going beyond the 2,000 threshold for the first time since April 20.
Malawi frees prisoners amid congestion
In Malawi, Richard Chimwendo, homeland security minister, says President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has pardoned 499 prisoners as part of reducing congestion in prisons, according to the Daily Times.
The announcement follows the death of a prisoner on Thursday due to Covid-19.
Malawi has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country’s prisons which are heavily crowded.
There are 14,000 inmates in the country’s prisons that are meant to accommodate 5,000 prisoners.
NFL officials opt out of season
Five on-field and two replay officials – but no referees – have opted out of the upcoming season due to the virus pandemic, according to two reports.
The deadline for game officials to opt out was Thursday.
Officials who take a leave of absence due to the pandemic receive a $30,000 stipend and job guarantees for the 2021 season.
UK adds France, Netherlands to travel quarantine list
British holiday makers faced a scramble to get home after the government said it will reimpose a 14-day quarantine for travellers from France and the Netherlands, prompting Paris to quickly announce a "reciprocal measure".
The UK government said the change will kick in at 0300 GMT on Saturday, likely sparking a mass exodus among the estimated 160,000 British holiday makers currently in France, after a rise in virus cases there.
"Data shows we need to remove France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos & Aruba from our list of coronavirus Travel Corridors to keep infection rates DOWN," Transport Minister Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter.
EU reaches deal with AstraZeneca
The European Commission said it had reached a deal with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca for the purchase of at least 300 million doses of its potential virus vaccine.
The EU's executive arm, which is negotiating on behalf of the 27 EU states, said the deal also included an option to purchase 100 million more doses should the vaccine prove safe and effective
Paris, Marseille declared at-risk zones
The head of France’s national health service says Paris and Marseille have been declared at-risk zones for the virus as authorities observe a sharp increase in infections.
Jerome Salomon, speaking on France Inter radio, warned "the situation is deteriorating from week to week” in the country. He says virus clusters emerge every day following family reunions, big parties and other gatherings amid summer holidays.
Nearly 8 percent of people in German virus hotspot had virus
Results of a study in a town which had one of Germany's earliest virus outbreaks found 7.7 percent of residents had antibodies to pandemic, the Robert KochInstitute (RKI) for infectious diseases said.
Researchers tested 2,203 people in the town of Kupferzell in southern Germany, where a church concert lead to a outbreak in early March, between May 20 and June 9.
The findings show there were almost four times as many infections in the town as previously reported, the study's project leader Claudia Santos-Hoevener from the RKI told a news conference.
Denmark adds Belgium, Malta to travel advisory
Denmark has added Belgium and Malta to its list of European nations where non-essential travels are not recommended as the Scandinavian country has seen a flare-up of virus cases.
The Scandinavian country’s reason for doing so is that both nations have seen more than 30 cases of virus per 100,000 inhabitants. Danish health officials say the number is 32.5 for Belgium and 31.5 for Malta.
As of Friday midnight, people who travel from Belgium or Malta must self-quarantine upon return.
Indonesia has 2,307 infections
Indonesia reported 2,307 virus infections, taking the total number of cases in the Southeast country to 135,123, data from Indonesia's pandemic task force showed.
The data also showed 53 new deaths, taking the total number to 6,021, the highest number of fatalities in Southeast Asia.
Russia reports more than 5,000 cases
Russia reported 5,065 new cases of the virus, bringing its nationwide tally to 912,823, the fourth highest caseload in the world.
Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said 114 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing its official death toll to 15,498.
India overtakes UK in virus death toll
India’s coronavirus death toll overtook Britain to become the fourth-highest in the world with another single-day record increase in cases.
According to the health ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths during the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the US, Brazil and Mexico.
India’s confirmed cases reached 2,461,190 with a single-day spike of 64,553 in the past 24 hours. More than 70 percent of people infected in India have recovered.
Tokyo logs 389 cases
Tokyo said it had confirmed 389 new cases of virus infections, as the daily tally rose above the 300 mark for the first time since August 9.
Those under 40 years accounted for 62 percent of new cases, while serious cases rose by three to 24 out of all current cases in the Japanese capital.
UK says it has no choice over quarantine for France arrivals
Britain had no choice but to impose a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals from France from Saturday in order to protect public health domestically, transport minister Grant Shapps said.
"It's a dynamic situation, and I don't think that anybody ... would want us to do anything other than protect public health and public safety," Shapps told Sky News.
The Netherlands, Malta, Monaco and the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Turks & Caicos are also being added to the quarantine list.
Ukraine reports daily record of 1,732 cases
Ukraine reported 1,732 virus cases, a single-day record, the national council of security and defence said.
Total cases reached 87,872, including 2,011 deaths.
The number of infections has increased sharply since June as authorities have eased some restrictions, allowing cafes, churches and public transport links to reopen.
New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown by 12 days
New Zealand extended a lockdown of its largest city Auckland by at least 12 days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced, as authorities struggled with a growing new outbreak.
"Cabinet has agreed to maintain our current settings for an additional 12 days, bringing us to a full two weeks in total," Ardern said.
Since four people tested positive on Tuesday – the first cases in community transmission in 102 days – New Zealand has detected a cluster of 30 virus cases.
Vietnam health ministry to buy Russian vaccine
Vietnam's health ministry has registered to buy a Russian vaccine, state television reported, as the Southeast Asian country fights a new outbreak of the pandemic following months of no local cases.
Russia said on Wednesday the first batch of the world's first virus vaccine would be rolled out within two weeks, rejecting as "groundless" the safety concerns aired by some experts over Moscow's rapid approval of the drug.
China reports 30 cases
China has reported another eight cases of locally transmitted virus infections, all in the northwestern region of Xinjiang where the country’s last major outbreak has been largely contained.
Officials said that 22 other new cases were brought from outside the country by Chinese travellers returning home.
China has reported a total of 4,634 deaths from pandemic among 84,786 cases.
Germany's cases rise by 1,449 to 221,413
The number of virus cases in Germany increased by 1,449 to 221,413, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
The reported death toll rose by 14 to 9,225, the tally showed.
Mexico passes 500,000 virus cases
Mexico has passed the half-million mark in confirmed coronavirus cases.
The health department reported 7,371 new cases, bringing the country’s total for the pandemic to 505,751. The department reported 627 more confirmed Covid-19 deaths, giving Mexico a total of 55,293.
Experts agree that due to Mexico’s extremely low testing rates, those numbers are undercounted and that the real figures may be two to three times higher.
New Zealand records 12 new cases
New Zealand has reported 12 new confirmed virus cases for the last 24 hours as the country awaits an announcement from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on whether a lockdown in its biggest city will be eased or extended.
The country's biggest city of Auckland, home to 1.7 million people, was put into lockdown on Wednesday, hours after four new cases were discovered in a family living there.
Thirty-eight people linked to the virus cluster have already been moved into quarantine facilities, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said in a media briefing in Wellington.
South Korea reports 103 new cases
South Korea has reported 103 new virus cases, of which 85 are domestic, the most locally transmitted cases since the end of March, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
The new cases bring the country's tally to 14,873 infections, with 305 deaths.
North Korea lifts virus lockdown in border town
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has lifted a three-week lockdown in the city of Kaesong and nearby areas, after a man who defected to the South returned to the border town last month showing virus symptoms.
Kim made the decision at a politburo meeting convened to discuss the government's efforts to prevent an outbreak, as well as the response to heavy rain and flooding, state news agency KCNA reported.
North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases of the virus, but Kim said last month that the virus "could be said to have entered" the country and imposed the lockdown after the man was reported to have symptoms.
US virus vaccines unlikely to be approved before November
Any potential virus vaccine backed by the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program is unlikely to receive a green light from regulators any earlier than November or December, given the time needed for a large-scale clinical trial.
In a call with reporters, the National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins said he thinks testing a vaccine in at least 10,000 people could potentially give enough evidence of safety and efficacy to clear it for wider use. US late-stage vaccine trials launched so far aim to recruit up to 30,000 people.
He added that he is confident that at least one of the six vaccines funded by the initiative will be shown to be safe and effective by the end of the year.
Brazil death toll from virus passes 105,000
Brazil has reported 60,091 new virus cases and 1,261 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Brazil has registered 3,224,876 cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 105,463, according to the country's health ministry data.
Brazil ranks as the world's worst coronavirus outbreak after the US.