COVID-19 Apocalypse : Australian state of Victoria records new high 723 new daily cases, Brazil sets daily record with 69,074 cases, 5,752 news cases in Mexico


30th July 2020 – (Hong Kong)  Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 17,189,755 with 670,256 deaths as of 1.30pm today.


Italy has extended the state of emergency imposed in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak until 15th October, according to a government statement released early Thursday morning local time.

The German economy suffered a record slump in the second quarter as coronavirus lockdowns took their toll, official data is set to show Thursday, but experts say a recovery is already under way. Federal statistics agency Destatis will unveil its flash estimate at 0800 GMT, with leading research institutes forecasting that gross domestic product shrank nearly 10 per cent between April and June compared with the previous quarter.

U.S. and Canada

The House Sergeant at Arms and Attending Physician have issued rules, “upon the direction of the Speaker of the House,” requiring face coverings in all House office buildings effective at 8 a.m. ET Thursday.

The resurgence in coronavirus infections in states across the south and west is now moving into Midwestern states, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has announced a new mandatory mask policy requiring all members and staff to wear face covering in the House.

Texas has now surpassed New York in total coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Johns Hopkins now reports a total of 417,098 total cases across Texas since the start of the pandemic.  New York state has 413,593 total cases across as of Wednesday.

New Mexico’s coronavirus case count topped 20,000 on Wednesday after adding 352 new COVID-19 cases.

The United States Golf Association has announced that the 120th US Open Championship, which is scheduled 17th – 20th September at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, will take place without spectators. 

Florida’s state-supported COVID-19 testing sites will temporarily close in anticipation of a potential tropical storm, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced Wednesday.

Minnesota has 310 people who are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 143 in intensive care units, according to the state’s Department of Health.

The US needs to reset its response with policy actions at the federal, state and local level to get control of the COVID-19 pandemic, scholars at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security said in a new report Wednesday. 

The US Food and Drug Administration could issue emergency use authorization (EUA) of a coronavirus vaccine in a matter of weeks, once a vaccine meets efficacy requirements, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which approves vaccines, said Wednesday. 

Attorney General William Barr tested negative for COVID-19 today, according to a Justice Department official.

California, Texas and Florida each reported record daily increases in deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday, showing the virus’s grim wrath in the most populous states in the U.S. Texas recorded 313 new deaths from Covid-19, pushing the cumulative fatalities to 6,190, according to state health department figures. Total cases rose by 2.3% to surpass 400,000. In California, there were 197 new virus deaths, exceeding the 14-day average of 109 and bringing its total to 8,715. Florida reported 216 additional deaths among residents, for a total of 6,333.

The earliest global spread of the novel coronavirus came from travel involving mostly three countries: China, Italy and Iran, researchers reported Wednesday. Three-quarters of cases reported outside of China in January and February were linked to travelers from an affected country, mostly those three, a team at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. “Cases with travel links to China, Italy, or Iran accounted for almost two-thirds of the first reported COVID-19 cases from affected countries,” the CDC’s Dr. Fatimah Dawood and colleagues wrote in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Courses for all undergraduate and graduate students at Georgetown University will begin all online for the fall semester, according to a letter from university President John J. DeGioia.

Central and Latin America

The mayor of Brazil’s Amazonian city of Manaus, Arthur Virgílio Neto, was discharged from hospital Wednesday nearly one month after contracting COVID-19.   The Brazilian government is allowing foreigners to enter the country by air travel, according to a decree issued hours after the country reported a record number of new coronavirus cases and deaths. In the last 24 hours, 69,075 new cases and 1,595 new deaths were registered by the health ministry. Brazil has reported 2,555,518 COVID-19 cases and 90,188 deaths since the pandemic began.

In Brazil, health care workers are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic in more ways than one, treating patients but also volunteering to test some of the most promising experimental vaccines.

Mexico reported 5,752 more COVID-19 infections, according to Health Ministry data, as cases continue to surge in Latin America. 485 new deaths were recorded from COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the country’s death toll to 45,361, according to the country’s health ministry. Mexico has the fourth-highest death toll from the virus worldwide, behind the UK, Brazil and US. The health ministry also reported 5,752 new COVID-19 cases, bringing Mexico’s total to 408,449.

China and Hong Kong

China recorded more than 100 new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, according to the country’s National Health Commission. Among the 105 new cases, the highest number the country has seen since it brought the virus largely under control in March, 102 were locally transmitted. Some 96 local infections were found in the far western region of Xinjiang, one in Beijing, with the remaining cases confirmed in Liaoning. 

Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told local journalists the virus seems to like colder, humid environments.  He pointed to the country’s COVID-19 outbreaks – from the original source in Wuhan – to Beijing and Dalian, which have been traced to seafood markets or seafood companies.

Hong Kong will reportedly relax its dine-in ban and allow breakfast and lunch services at restaurants starting Friday, a move that comes after the government imposed some of its tightest virus-related restrictions yet.

Elsewhere in the world

North Korea has tested 1,211 people for coronavirus as of 16th July, with all results returned negative, the World Health Organization’s representative to North Korea Dr. Edwin Salvador told CNN. All educational institutions in the country including pre-schools are now on extended summer break for the next two months, Salvador said.

South Korea, which is battling a new COVID-19 wave after initial success in containing the virus’s spread, reported 18 new infections for a total of 14,269.

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 723 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, setting a new daily high for the state and the whole country, according to numbers delivered by Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday. Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, has so far diagnosed 9,998 cases, accounting for more than 60% of the country’s total number of infections. The rise came despite a lockdown in Melbourne that was aimed at calming the outbreak. Worries are growing that the city’s weeks old stay-home order will need to be extended further in the southern state, taking a bigger toll on its economy. An Australian medical emergencies team has been deployed to Papua New Guinea where the outbreak has deteriorated in recent days.

Pakistan announced that it had added 1,063 new cases, for a total of 276,288. Its Health Ministry said the country’s death toll had reached 5,892.

In Southeast Asia, Thailand reported six new cases, bringing its total to 3,304.

Vietnam found eight more local cases in the central city of Danang and one in Hanoi, bringing the Southeast Asian nation’s total to 459. Hanoi halted public gatherings of more than 30 people, as officials in the capital worried that the Danang cluster would spread.  Authorities in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, say they will test some 21,000 people who recently returned from Danang where an outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed last weekend.

Tokyo authorities will ask restaurants and karaoke establishments to shorten their operating hours and close no later than 10 p.m. owing to a surge in virus infections, the Nikkei reported, without attribution. The measures will be in place from 3rd to 31st August and the local government is considering giving a 200,000 yen subsidy to businesses that cooperate, it said. Tokyo found at least 365 new cases of coronavirus Thursday.

Guatemalan hospital officials say they’ve had to bury dozens of COVID-19 victims who have never been identified.