31st July 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 17,474,691 with 676,759 deaths as of 11.30am today.
Countries should gradually lift international travel measures based on a thorough risk assessment and must prioritise essential travel for emergencies, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
The UK government announced new restrictions in Northern England “to stop the spread of COVID-19.” “This is in response to an increasing trend in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area,” a release from the government read on Thursday.
U.S. and Canada
White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested it is impossible to know whether the US is nearing the end of the pandemic or still in the early stages, and that the outcome depends very much on Americans’ behaviour going forward. With millions of parents preparing for the upcoming academic year under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said “we should try as best as we possibly can to get the children back to school.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci responded to a claim from the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government’s multi-billion effort to develop a vaccine against COVID-19, that a coronavirus vaccine could be 90% effective.
The head of Operation Warp Speed said he’s “optimistic” there will be vaccines for all Americans by the end of next year, but hopefully even sooner. “I am optimistic that we will have vaccines for everybody within the year 2021, ideally within the first half of the year 2021. That’s our objective,” said Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the federal government’s multi-billion-dollar program to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
President Trump expressed his sadness over the death of Herman Cain, who passed away from COVID-19 after spending nearly a month in the hospital with the virus.
The University of Washington now projects there will be 230,822 US deaths from COVID-19 by November, based on the current scenario. On 22nd July, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasted 219,864 total deaths from the virus by November.
The Buffalo Bills have sent their rookies home from the team’s facility following five positive COVID-19 tests in the last week, both NFL Network and ESPN reported Thursday.
At least 124 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Hawaii on Thursday. That’s a 14% increase over the previous record high set Wednesday and is the state’s fifth record day in the past week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis advocated Thursday for parents to be able to choose either in-person or distance learning as districts in the state weigh their options for the upcoming school year. Florida reported 461,379 cases, up 2.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 2.5% in the previous seven days. The state posted a record 253 new deaths, bringing the total to 6,586. It was the third straight day of record fatalities.
A San Diego gym that was shut down after operating in defiance of the county’s health order to close last week has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus.
Connecticut has seen a notable increase in coronavirus rates among 10 to 19 year olds, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a news conference on Thursday.
Louisiana has the highest number of Covid-19 cases per capita in the nation — more than Arizona, Florida, New York and others, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news conference today. Louisiana has reported 1,769 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 114,000. The state has also reported 42 new deaths for a total of 3,811 from the virus.
Illinois could be headed to a “reversal” in the state’s reopening plan if the positive cases of coronavirus continue to climb, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during a news conference on Thursday.
California recorded 194 new virus deaths, second only to the 197 reported Wednesday and above the 14-day average of 112. The 2.2% increase brought total fatalities to 8,909.
The University System of Maryland (USM), which includes 12 institutions and three regional higher education centres, is making COVID-19 testing mandatory for all on-campus students and employees.
Just two weeks of social distancing policies cut the spread of coronavirus by 65% globally, preventing more than 1.5 million new cases, Texas researchers estimated Thursday.
There wasn’t a clear increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations or deaths in Milwaukee after statewide primary elections in Wisconsin this spring, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published Thursday.
Countries have to work together to stop the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a Time 100 Talk on Thursday.
Gilead Sciences Inc. said Thursday it expects to make more than 2 million doses of COVID-19 treatment remdesivir by the end of the year.
Central and Latin America
Mexico will participate in the phase 3 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine from the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Pasteur’s Mexico branch, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. Mexico’s health ministry reported 7,730 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 416,179.
Brazil’s health ministry reported 57,837 new cases of coronavirus Thursday, bringing the country’s total to 2,610,102.
Argentina reported its highest daily death count from COVID-19 Thursday, according to its health ministry. The ministry reported 153 new deaths, its highest increase since the outbreak began. Argentina’s death toll from the virus is 3,441. Argentina posted a record daily increase of 6,377 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 185,373.
Long lines formed outside Pension Fund Administrators offices in Chile’s capital, Santiago, and the websites of several fund managers collapsed as Chileans sought to take advantage of a new law allowing citizens to tap into retirement savings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
China and Hong Kong
China recorded 127 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the National Health Commission said on Friday morning. That marks the third consecutive day that the country has reported over 100 new infections. Among the new cases, 123 were locally transmitted, with 112 confirmed in the far western region of Xinjiang and the rest in the northeastern province of Liaoning. There are also 11 new asymptomatic cases.
China tightened travel restrictions in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, requiring people arriving in the city from regions deemed to have high infection risks to undergo a two-week quarantine.
Elsewhere in the world
The Australian state of Victoria reported 672 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths on Friday, according to the state’s premier Daniel Andrews. The total number of infections in Victoria, the second-most populous state in Australia, now stands at 10,577, with 112 deaths, according to Andrews.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday he was confident a COVID-19 flare-up in Sydney, the country’s biggest city, was under control but acknowledged the larger spike in cases in Melbourne remained a challenge.
Tokyo is expected to confirm more than 400 cases of coronavirus on Friday, a fresh daily record, NHK reported, citing an unidentified official. The city reported 367 cases on Thursday.
Libya’s UN-recognized government in Tripoli announced it will impose a full lockdown for five days starting on Friday in areas of the country it controls.
Iran’s government ignored repeated requests from senior prison officials for help in containing coronavirus in the country’s overcrowded jails, according to Amnesty International.
Vietnam’s health ministry reported 45 new coronavirus infections linked to a recent outbreak in the central city of Da Nang, marking the highest daily increase since the first cases emerged in the country in late January.
Botswana’s capital city Gaborone has returned to a two-week lockdown to stem its latest surge in coronavirus infections.