The pandemic has infected more than 12.95 million people, of whom over 7.5 million have recovered. Here are updates for July 12:

In this file photo a sign with a face mask promoting Covid-19 safety measures is seen in a store in Miami Beach, Florida on June 16, 2020.
In this file photo a sign with a face mask promoting Covid-19 safety measures is seen in a store in Miami Beach, Florida on June 16, 2020. (AFP)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Another daily record hike in global cases

The World Health Organization has reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report. 

The previous WHO record for new cases was 228,102 on July 10. 

Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

Nearly 1,300 recover from coronavirus in Turkey 

Turkey has confirmed 1,298 more recoveries from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total tally to 194,515, according to the country's health minister. 

Citing Health Ministry data, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that a total of 1,012 people had contracted Covid-19, bringing the overall number to 212,993.

Covid-19 patients recovered in Turkey over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number to 194,515.

The country's death toll from the coronavirus rose to 5,363, with 19 new fatalities reported over the last 24 hours. 

Healthcare professionals conducted over 45,232 tests for the disease since Saturday, raising the total count to over 3.9 million.

Florida reports largest, single-day jump in cases

Florida has reported the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any one state since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to state Department of Health statistics, 15,300 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases. 

California had the previous record of daily positive cases - 11,694, four days ago. New York had 11,571 on April 15.

The numbers come at the end of a grim, record-breaking week in Florida, with 514 fatalities. 

On Sunday, 45 more deaths were reported.

UK death toll up by 21

The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 44,819, up by 21 from the previous day, the government has said.

Iran reports 194 more fatalities

Iran has confirmed 194 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus, bringing the nationwide death toll to 12,829.

A further 2,186 people tested positive for Covid-19, raising the overall count to 252,720, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

She added that a total of 219,993 people have so far recovered and been discharged from hospitals, adding that 3,359 patients remain in critical condition.

Sri Lanka cancels election rallies over new virus wave

Sri Lanka's ruling party has called off its rallies ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections and delayed the international airport's reopening over a surge in virus cases.

The South Asian country of 21 million lifted its coronavirus lockdown in late June after declaring there was no longer any community spread of the virus.

But a swathe of cases emerged last week, including an outbreak at a drug rehabilitation centre last week that saw 253 patients test positive in a single night.

"All public meetings where the president and the prime minister were due to attend to day, tomorrow and the day after have been cancelled," President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party said in a statement.

Trump wears mask first time in public

US President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spread, donned one at a military medical facility outside Washington where he was to meet with wounded soldiers and front-line health-care workers.

The visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday marked Trump's first public appearance with a face covering since the virus began sweeping across the United States earlier this year.

Trump had previously refused to wear a mask in public or ask other Americans to do so, saying it was a personal choice, although he had said he would if he was in a crowd and could not maintain distance from others.

"I think when you are in a hospital, especially in that particular setting when you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table, I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask," Trump told reporters at the White House just before his visit to Walter Reed.

Spain holds regional elections amid strict measures

Spaniards in two northern regions are voting in regional elections amid tight security measures to avoid more outbreaks of the pandemic.

Regional authorities in both Basque Country and Galicia have prohibited over 400 people who have tested positive for the virus from leaving their homes to vote.

Spain’s Supreme Court backed the decision in a ruling Friday in response to a complaint by opposition parties in both regions.

Voters must wear face masks to vote and remain 1.5 meters apart in polling stations, which are equipped with hand sanitisers.

Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan tests positive

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter tested positive for the disease a day after her father-in-law and top Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan and her husband and actor Abhishek said they were infected with the virus.

Maharastra state health minister Rajesh Tope said in a tweet Aishwarya and her daughter had tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19. It was not clear whether they had been admitted to hospital, as Amitabh and Abhishek were on Saturday, when they said they had mild symptoms.

Lebanon records new infections

A Lebanese waste management company is quarantining some 133 Syrian workers who tested positive for the coronavirus, the company manager has said, as Lebanon recorded a new daily high for infections.

Lebanon has recorded more than 2,000 infections and 36 deaths from the coronavirus since February.

"We are moving them to a place to quarantine them. We are separating those who are infected from those who aren't ... we are waiting for more results," RAMCO manager Walid BouSaad told Reuters.

Health minister Hamad Hassan said more than 100 cases had been recorded, with most of them at what he described as "a big cleaning company", an apparent reference to RAMCO, which collects garbage across Lebanon

Hungary reimposes restrictions on some arrivals

The Hungarian government said that it will reimpose restrictions, such as mandatory two-week quarantines or bans, on people arriving from countries where the rate of infections is considered to be moderate or high.

“We see worrisome signs about an increase in the number of cases in the neighboring countries, Europe and the whole world,” said Gergely Gulyas, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff.

Gulyas said only Hungarian citizens will be allowed to enter from countries in the “red” category – those with a high rate of infections – including Albania, Ukraine, Belarus and practically all of Asia, Africa and South and Central America.

Pakistan's cases climb by 2,521 

Pakistan reports 2,521 infections and additional 74 fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 248,872 cases and 5,197. 

The Asian country with 212 million residents has conducted 1,562,638 tests by now.

Russia reports 6,615 cases 

Russia reported 6,615 cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 727,162.

The country's crisis response centre said 130 people had died from the pandemic in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,335.

Russia said 501,061 people have recovered from the virus.

India’s caseload crosses 850,000

Number of novel coronavirus cases in India crossed the 850,000 mark with a record surge of 28,637 during the past 24 hours, prompting authorities to announce a weeklong lockdown in the key southern technology hub of Bangalore. 

The new confirmed cases took the national total to 850,827 with 22,696 deaths, according to a tracker.

India has overtaken Russia in the number of cases and is currently behind the United States and Brazil, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Australia's worst-hit Victoria state reports 273 cases

Australia's worst-hit Victoria state reported 273 new cases, the sixth straight day of triple-digit increases. 

State Premier Daniel Andrews said a man in his 70s died overnight, bringing Australia’s death toll to 108, including 24 in Victoria, which currently has 1,484 active cases. 

A sudden surge in Covid-19 saw Victoria report a record 288 infections on Friday and 216 Saturday. 

China logs seven cases coming from abroad

Chinese health authorities reported seven new cases that they said came from abroad and said there were no additional domestic infections. 

Four of the confirmed cases reported in the 24 hours through midnight Saturday were in Tianjin, east of Beijing, two in Shanghai and one in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, the National Health Commission reported.

That raised China’s total number of confirmed cases to 83,594, with 4,634 deaths, according to the NHC.

South Korea sees 44 cases

South Korea has reported 44 additional cases during the past 24 hours, maintaining an uptick in new infections in the greater Seoul area and central cities. The additional figures released took the country’s total to 13,417 with 289 deaths.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 21 of the newly reported cases were local transmissions, all of them recorded either in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area or two central cities. 

The agency says the 23 other cases were linked to international arrivals. South Korea has been reporting roughly 30-60 cases every day since it eased social distancing rules in early May.

Thailand plans November human testing for potential vaccine

Thai researchers plan to begin human trials of a potential vaccine for the virus November and are preparing 10,000 doses, a senior official said, aiming for a vaccine that could be ready for use by late next year.

Following favourable results in trials on primates, the next step is to manufacture doses for human trials, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University vaccine development program.

“At first we were going to send them in June, but it was not easy to plan everything,” Kiat told a news conference.

Germany's cases rise by 248 

The number of cases in Germany increased by 248 to 198,804, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by three to 9,063, the tally showed.

Mexico reports 6,094 cases

Mexico's Health Ministry reported 6,094 new confirmed infections and 539 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 295,268 cases and 34,730 deaths.

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

Brazil sees over 1,000 new deaths

Brazil, the world's No. 2 hotspot after the United States, recorded 1,071 new deaths from the outbreak on Saturday, with a total of 1,839,850 confirmed cases, the Health Ministry said.

Brazil has now recorded a total of 71,469 deaths, the ministry said.

Covid-19 death toll now at 396 for Navajo Nation

Navajo Nation officials have reported 10 additional deaths from Covid-19 as the tribe’s sprawling reservation remains under the latest weekend lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

The tribe’s death toll rose to 396 as of Friday.

Tribal officials also reported 56 additional confirmed cases, increasing the reservation’s total to nearly 8,100. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The lockdown began Friday night and ends at 5 am Monday. All businesses on the Navajo Nation are also required to close during the lockdown.

Protesters pack Tel Aviv rally against virus cash crisis

Thousands of Israelis streamed into Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to protest Saturday against the government's handling of economic hardship caused by coronavirus curbs.

About 300 officers were deployed in the square, a traditional protest site, to ensure public order and monitor social distancing regulations, police said.

Many participants wore face masks but most appeared to be less than the statutory two metres (yards) apart.

Some held banners reading in Hebrew: "Let us breathe" — an echo of worldwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, du ring a US police arrest.

The event was organised by self-employed, small business and performing artists' groups angry at coronavirus curbs which have taken away their livelihoods.

Student unions also took part over the large numbers of young people made jobless by closures.

Arizona adds 3,000 more daily cases

Arizona health officials have reported an additional 69 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, there’s been more than 2,150 confirmed deaths from the virus in Arizona.

The state added 3,038 confirmed cases in the last day, bringing the total to 119,930. Arizona also set a record with 3,485 patients hospitalised as of Friday.

Hospital caseloads have surged since Arizona became one of the hot spots for the coronavirus after Governor Doug Ducey relaxed stay-home orders and other restrictions in May.

Disney World reopens as US virus death toll surges

Disney World is known as "The Most Magical Place on Earth" but as the Florida theme park reopened Saturday, it was counting on a bit of science — masks, social distancing, hand sanitiser — to stave off the coronavirus.

The state of Florida is one of the hardest-hit by a new wave of cases and deaths in the United States, already the most affected country in the world in terms of infections and fatalities.

On Saturday, Florida reported its third-highest daily increase in cases, with 10,360 new infections, as well as 95 deaths.

Overall, the US has seen nearly 135,000 deaths out of 3.2 million cases.

In Orlando, Disney World reopened two of its four parks — Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom — after four months of closure. Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios will open on Wednesday.

Several hundred people queued in the Florida heat ahead of the park's reopening — some sporting Mickey ears but all wearing masks, part of the park's new guidelines requiring them for both guests and employees.

Saturday's visitors had reserved their tickets in advance, allowing Disney to control the number of people in the park and accommodate for social distancing.

Bollywood's Amitabh Bachchan hospitalised with Covid-19

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, 77, tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday and was admitted to hospital in Mumbai, with his actor son Abhishek — who also announced he had the virus — saying both cases were mild.

"I have tested CoviD positive .. shifted to Hospital," Amitabh Bachchan told his 43 million Twitter followers. "All that have been in close proximity to me in the last 10 days are requested to please get themselves tested!"

His son Abhishek added "both of us having mild symptoms have been admitted to hospital... I request all to stay calm and not panic."

Millions of Indians revere Amitabh Bachchan, hanging on his every word, seeking his blessings and congregating outside his Mumbai bungalow every year on October 11, his birthday.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies