Coronavirus has infected more than 13 million people, of whom over 7.5 million have recovered and about 570,565 have died. Here are the updates for July 13:

A soldier in protective gear amid the Covid-19 pandemic stands guard in Ciudad Bolivar, an area with high cases of coronavirus in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
A soldier in protective gear amid the Covid-19 pandemic stands guard in Ciudad Bolivar, an area with high cases of coronavirus in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, July 13, 2020. (AP)

Monday, July 13, 2020 

"It is going to get worse and worse and worse”

The new coronavirus pandemic raging around the globe will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

"Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva on Monday.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go - it is going to get worse and worse and worse.”

Tedros, whose leadership has been criticised by US President Trump, said that of 230,000 new cases on Sunday, 80 percent were from 10 nations, and 50 percent from just two countries.

The United States and Brazil have been worst hit.

Turkey sees drop in number of daily cases

Turkey has seen a drop in the number of daily coronavirus cases, with 1,008 additions, according to the country's health minister.

The number of daily cases has been falling each day as 1,016 new cases reported on Saturday and 1,012 on Sunday.

Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that based on data from an average of one week ago, the country is determined to drop the number of daily cases below 1,000.

The country confirmed 1,156 more recoveries from the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally to 195,671, according to the ministry data.

The country's death toll from the virus rose to 5,382, with 19 daily fatalities reported.

UK deaths rise to 44,830

The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of Covid-19 rose to 44,830, up 11 on the previous day, the government has said.

The increase in the daily number of deaths is the lowest since early-March, although a lower number of deaths is generally reported during the weekend.

Portugal keeps parts of Lisbon under lockdown

Portugal’s government has said that five areas on the outskirts of Lisbon will remain under a partial lockdown put in place two weeks ago to tackle a worrying wave of coronavirus cases.

People living in 19 civil parishes of Greater Lisbon are allowed to leave home only to buy essential goods such as food or medication, or to travel to and from work.

“Although the coronavirus incidence rate has improved in these 15 days, it has not yet reached a stage where we would reevaluate measures,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference on Monday.

Gatherings in the locked-down parishes, which do not include the capital’s downtown, are limited to five people compared to 10 elsewhere in Greater Lisbon and 20 for the rest of Portugal.

Portugal has reported a total 46,818 cases and 1,549 deaths from the coronavirus, much lower than many other European countries including neighbouring Spain.

Kazakhstan to extend lockdown by two weeks

Kazakhstan will extend its second coronavirus lockdown by two weeks until the end of July and again offer financial aid to those who have lost their source of income, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has said.

Kazakhstan, which reported a major resurgence in Covid-19 and often-related pneumonia cases after lifting restrictions in May, entered a second, albeit less stringent, lockdown on July 5 in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

“There are first signs now that the situation is beginning to improve,” he said in a tweet on Monday. “The next two weeks are important for the full stabilisation of the situation.”

The oil-rich Central Asian republic has confirmed almost 60,000 cases of Covid-19 with 375 deaths, and reported shortages of hospital beds and popular medicines. The number of daily new cases fell to 1,646 on Monday from 1,798 on Sunday.

NBA star Westbrook tests positive

NBA star Russell Westbrook has revealed that he has tested positive for Covid-19 as the league gears up for its return in Florida later this month.

Houston Rockets star Westbrook, the 2017 Most Valuable Player and one of the biggest names in the NBA, said in a statement he was feeling well and was in isolation.

"I tested positive for Covid-19 prior to my team's departure to Orlando," Westbrook said on Twitter on Monday.

"I'm currently feeling well, quarantined and looking forward to rejoining my teammates when I am cleared. Thank you all for the well wishes and continued support," the 31-year-old added.

"Please take this virus seriously. Be safe. Mask up!"

Iran's virus death toll tops 13,000

Iran reported more than 200 fatalities that took the overall toll in the Middle East's deadliest outbreak beyond 13,000.

"Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours, we have lost 203 of our compatriots due to the Covid-19 disease," said Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

"Based on this figure, the total number of victims has reached 13,032," she told a televised news conference.

Lari said another 2,349 people had tested positive for the virus, raising the overall figure in the country's outbreak to 259,652.

Russia registers more than 6,500 infections

Russia reported 6,537 new cases of the pandemic, pushing its overall tally to 733,699, the fourth largest reported in the world.

Authorities said 104 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 11,439.

German health minister criticises vacationers

Germany’s health minister has criticized his countrymen for failing to respect social-distancing rules on vacation after videos emerged over the weekend showing German tourists partying on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Jens Spahn told reporters on Monday that he understood vacationers were “impatient” after months of lockdown, but that the scenes captured on video Friday made him “very worried” because such behavior would increase the risk of coronavirus infection for the partying tourists and others.

Spahn also urged Germans not to stage private parties for Oktoberfest, after the official event was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Sri Lanka shuts schools again as virus cases surge

Sri Lanka ordered government schools across the nation to shut, just a week after they reopened, following a surge in cases.

The country has reported just 2,617 cases with 11 deaths, but army chief Shavendra Silva said nearly half the 1,100 residents and staff at a drug rehab facility near the capital had tested positive in the past week, and some visitors may also have been infected.

At least 16 cases had emerged in villages elsewhere across the nation, officials said, most in the central-northern region.

Thailand tightens borders in fear of second wave

Thailand ordered security stepped up at its land borders after concerns surged over a possible second wave of infections, following the arrests of thousands of illegal migrants in the past month.

Since the start of June, authorities have arrested 3,000 migrant workers for overland entry attempts, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand's task force on the disease.

Taweesin also raised concern about weak regulation for foreign arrivals by air, after two such visitors tested positive, with one breaking quarantine rules.

Spanish court suspends lockdown of virus-hit Catalonia area

A local court suspended a home confinement order imposed on more than 200,000 people in the Spanish region of Catalonia after an upsurge in virus cases.

Catalonia officials ordered the home confinement on the city of Lerida and its surrounding areas a week after the zone had been placed under less strict lockdown.

"The Lerida district court has decided not to ratify the measures of the 12 July resolution," the Catalan supreme court said on its Twitter account, although the decision can be appealed.

Philippines reports 65 new deaths

The Philippines' Health Ministry reported 65 more deaths and 836 additional infections.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths have reached 1,599, while confirmed infections rose to 57,006, more than triple when President Rodrigo Duterte eased the quarantine measures in the capital in June to revive the economy.

Earlier on Monday, in an announcement delayed from Sunday, the country posted its biggest daily rise in deaths due to the virus at 162.

India sees another surge

India reported another record surge of coronavirus infections, adding 28,701 new cases during the past 24 hours.

Authorities in several cities are reinstating strict lockdowns after attempting to loosen things up to revive an ailing economy.

The new cases raised the national total to 878,254. The Health Ministry also reported another 500 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 23,174.

New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune are among the key Indian cities witnessing a surge in infections. Several states introduced week end curfews and announced strict lockdowns in high-risk areas to slow down infections.

Germany's cases rise by 159 

The number of cases in Germany increased by 159 to 198,963, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,064, the tally showed. 

China confirms eight cases with 320 patients in treatment

China reported eight cases, all of them brought from outside the country, as domestic community infections fall to near zero. 

No more deaths were reported and 320 patients remain in treatment, with another 117 people under isolation while being monitored for being suspected of having the virus or having tested positive for it without showing symptoms.

South Korea registers 62 cases

South Korea reported 62 new cases, most of them tied to international arrivals. At least 43 of the new cases were imported by travelers, although the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention didn’t immediately say where they were from. 

South Korea began requiring foreign nationals arriving from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan to provide health certificates proving they had tested negative amid widening outbreaks in Southern and Central Asia.

Australian hot spot sees cases decline

Australia’s worst-hit Victoria state recorded fewer coronavirus cases, but a health official has warned the disease spread might yet worsen.

The 177 new cases were substantially down from 273 cases on Sunday and a record 288 on Friday.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it was too early to say whether the lower count meant the spread was being contained.

Millions of children affected by school closures

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an "unprecedented education emergency" with some 10 million children affected by school closures at risk of never going back to class, Save the Children has warned.

The British charity on Monday cited UNESCO data showing that in April, 1.6 billion young people were shut out of school and university due to measures to contain Covid-19 – about 90 percent of the world's entire student population. 

"For the first time in human history, an entire generation of children globally have had their education disrupted," it said in a new report, Save our Education.

It said the economic fall-out of the crisis could force an extra 90 to 117 million children into poverty, with a knock-on effect on school admissions.

With many young people required to work or girls forced into early marriage to support their families, this could see between seven and 9.7 million children dropping out of school permanently.

Major global firms to borrow $1 trillion amid coronavirus

Companies around the world will take on as much as $1 trillion of new debt in 2020, as they try to shore up their finances against the coronavirus, a new study of 900 top firms has estimated.

The unprecedented increase will see total global corporate debt jump by 12 percent to around $9.3 trillion, adding to years of accumulation that has left the world's most indebted firms owing as much as many medium-sized countries.

Last year also saw a sharp 8 percent rise, driven by mergers and acquisitions, and by firms borrowing to fund share buybacks and dividends.

But this year's jump will be for an entirely different reason - preservation as the virus saps profits.

"Coronavirus has changed everything," said Seth Meyer, a portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, the firm that compiled the analysis for a new corporate debt index. 

"Now it is about conserving capital and building a fortified balance sheet".

Mexico virus death toll surges to fourth-highest

Mexico became the country with the fourth-highest death toll from Covid-19, ahead of Italy, according to Mexican health officials.

"There are 299,750 confirmed cases of infection and 35,006 deaths in Mexico," health officials said on the presidency's Twitter account. 

Italy currently has 34,954 fatalities from the coronavirus.

Full coronavirus vaccine unlikely by next year

There is little chance of a 100-percent effective coronavirus vaccine by 2021, a French expert has warned, urging people to take social distancing measures more seriously.

"A vaccine is several years in development," said epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, a member of the team of scientists advising the government on the crisis, speaking on BFMTV television.

"Of course, there is an unprecedented effort to develop a vaccine, but I would be very surprised if we had that was effective in 2021," he added.

While we would probably have one that worked partially, we were very far from the end of the crisis, he said.

That being the case, "we have to live with this virus" he said. And since another lockdown was out of the question, people had to go back to "more serious habits".

Brazil sees 631 new deaths, approaches 2 million cases

Brazil, the world's number two coronavirus hot spot after the United States, has registered 631 new deaths, with a new total of 1,864,681 confirmed cases, the health ministry said.

Brazil now has an official total of 72,100 deaths, the ministry said. 

The numbers of deaths and cases are usually lower on the weekend because of patchy reporting. 

Experts say the true totals are likely far higher due to a lack of testing.

Two Madagascar lawmakers die with coronavirus

Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Sunday said two lawmakers –– one member of the senate and one deputy –– had died after becoming infected with the coronavirus.

Eleven other deputies and 14 senators had also tested positive for the virus, Rajoelina said.

The Indian Ocean island on July 5 placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in infections, two months after the restrictions were eased.

It has recorded 2,573 infections including 35 deaths with the government estimating that the peak will not be reached until the end of August.

Canadia's Ontario province to announce stage 3 reopening details

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will announce details on Monday about the province's third stage of reopening, his office said on Sunday, a step likely to end most restrictions introduced in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Stage 3 will allow "most remaining workplaces and community spaces" to reopen, according to the province's website, although "large public gatherings will continue to be restricted."

Canada's most populous province and the country's economic engine laid out a three-stage framework in April for reopening, allowing the whole province into the first stage on May 19.

Many regions in the province were able to move to Stage 2 on June 12, which allowed for the reopening of restaurant patios and hair salons.

But harder-hit areas - including densely populated Toronto, and Windsor Essex, a region near the Ontario-Michigan border with clusters of cases among agricultural workers - were not able to graduate to the second stage until late June and early July.

Ontario, with a population of 14.6 million, reported 129 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Saturday, according to public health agency data.

South Africa re-instates curfew

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday re-imposed a night curfew and suspended alcohol sales as coronavirus infections spiked and the health system risked being overwhelmed.

Coronavirus infection numbers had in recent days skyrocketed with at least 12,000 infections recorded daily, translating to around 500 infections every hour, severely straining health care resources.

South Africa is the worst-affected country on the continent with 276,242 registered cases including 4,079 deaths as of Sunday.

Ramaphosa warned that the "coronavirus storm" South Africa faced was "far fiercer and more destructive than any we have known before".

"It is stretching our resources and our resolve to their limits," he said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies