COVID-19 UPDATES : India hits 24-hour spike of 17,296 cases, Florida reports single-day high of 9,000 cases, supermarkets impose purchase limits on toilet paper across Australia


27th June 2020 – (Hong Kong) Total worldwide COVID-19 cases have reached 9,813,759 with 494,104 deaths as of 2am today.

By the end of 2021, the World Health Organization plans to deliver about 2 billion doses of a coronavirus vaccine to people across the globe, WHO officials announced during a virtual media briefing on Friday.

Astrazeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is probably the world’s leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said.


Germany and France have pledged hundreds of millions in extra funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) just weeks after Donald Trump announced the US would terminate its relationship with the body.

The European Union moved closer to recommending that travellers from the U.S. shouldn’t be allowed to enter the bloc after 1st July, according to a draft list being considered by officials.

Summer heat saw crowds of daytrippers descend on U.K. coastal resorts, leading one southern town to declare a major incident and Health Secretary Matt Hancock to warn that he could close beaches to head off any potential new round of coronavirus cases. Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday, Environment Secretary George Eustice denied the beach crowding was linked to the government’s decision to ease the lockdown next week, instead blaming hot weather that meant “a lot of people had the same idea.” “The British weather being what it is, perhaps this will be a short-lived phenomenon,” he said.

Italian schools will reopen on 14th September in “safety conditions,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said during a press conference on Friday.

Germany’s coronavirus tracing app is 80% accurate in showing whether a user comes within 2 meters of an infected person for 15 minutes, said Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and head of data operations at SAP SE. The Corona-Warn-App is a joint project between SAP and telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom AG.

Portugal reported 451 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the biggest increase since 8th May, taking the total to 40,866, the government said. 

Spain’s government agreed to keep its furlough program in place through the end of September, an extension that ensures hundreds of thousands of workers maintain their jobs and a portion of their paychecks for at least several more months. Spanish virologists have found traces of the novel coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China, the University of Barcelona said on Friday. The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought. The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples.

Sweden’s state epidemiologist has lashed out against the World Health Organization, accusing it of misinterpreting Covid-19 data and overstating the health risks his country faces.

Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic, who now coaches Novak Djokovic and attended the top-ranked player’s exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia, said he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

A preliminary study of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases. The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of COVID-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments.

U.S. and Canada

US stocks kicked the session off lower on Friday. Worries about the state of the economy, as well as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, remains on investors’ minds following Thursday’s stress test results from the Federal Reserve.

More than 120,000 courses of remdesivir have been distributed to all of 50 states, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at today’s coronavirus task force briefing.

The White House cut back on temperature checks for visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic but said anyone in close proximity with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would still be checked for the virus.

Vice President Mike Pence asserted Friday that “all 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly” even as cases surge in many states, and eight states across the country have paused their reopening efforts.

Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged that the country is now seeing coronavirus cases “rise precipitously” across the South. He said the US’s mission right now is to “partner with states to save lives and safely reopen.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is offering help to Arizona, Texas and Florida where cases are surging as state hospitalizations drop to a low. Those states’ “course was incorrect,” he said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, is attending today’s White House coronavirus task force briefing.

New York City is currently retrofitting public school classrooms to accommodate as many students as possible for the new school year starting on September 10, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

The U.S. Coronavirus Task Force is focused on 16 states where new cases are rising, Vice President Mike Pence said in Washington, with the remaining states “reopening safely and responsibly and seeing low and steady cases and not seeing a rise.”

Vice President Mike Pence is holding a public coronavirus task force briefing soon, the first formal public meeting since 27th April. The briefing comes a day after the US saw a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day with 37,077 reported Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Oklahoma has recorded 395 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the state’s Department of Health said Friday. There is now a total of at least 12,343 cases, including 377 deaths, in the state, according to the agency.

As Arizona deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases, Tucson has only 10 beds in intensive care units available with a population of about 560,000 people, Mayor Regina Romero said.

As the state of Louisiana continues to see a surge in coronavirus cases, Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “We’ve got some work to do”.  

Discussing Texas rolling back its reopening plan and the impact of stalled reopening plans will have on the economy, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said today that while there will be interruptions in reopenings, consumer spending will still lead the way to an economic recovery. 

On-premise alcohol consumption has been suspended in bars in Florida, according to a tweet from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The announcement came the same day the state announced the highest single-day coronavirus case increase of nearly 9,000. 

More than a dozen people who attended a large family party in Northern California later tested positive for the coronavirus, a private gathering that state officials say is just one of many contributing to the record surge in new COVID-19 infections.

The National Basketball Association and the players union have jointly announced that 16 NBA players have tested positive for coronavirus.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order today that limits certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to “contain the spread of COVID-19.” Texas Governor Greg Abbott  ordered the closure of all bars that get 51 percent of their gross receipts from alcohol, and the curbing of other business activity due to surging cases of the novel coronavirus in the state.

American Airlines plans to begin selling every seat on its aircraft, something it has not done since the pandemic struck this spring – leading to the prospect of more full flights. The move comes ahead of the 4th July travel weekend. An American spokesperson said the holiday could be its busiest period since March.   

United Airlines Holdings Inc. plans twice-weekly flights between San Francisco and Shanghai via Seoul beginning 8th July, restoring service halted in March by the virus. United also will reinstate service between Chicago and Tokyo, with new service to Haneda Airport.

Florida suspended consumption of alcohol at bars across the state effective immediately, the state’s first major policy shift in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases this month.

Microsoft Corp said it would close its retail stores and take a related pretax asset impairment charge of $450m in the current quarter.

Central and Latin America

Mexico’s GDP plummeted during April by 19.9% compared to the same month in 2019, according to data released by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) on Friday. Mexico reported 6,104 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the second-highest daily case rise reported in the country, bringing the total number of cases to at least 202,951.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo (Unifesp) is in talks to test a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Italian researchers, the dean of the Brazilian university told the Reuters news agency.

China and Hong Kong

Beijing has partially lifted a weeks-long lockdown imposed in the Chinese capital to head off a feared second wave of coronavirus infections after three million samples were taken in two weeks, officials said.

Elsewhere in the world

Russia reported 6,800 new confirmed coronavirus infections over the past day, taking the total to 620,794, the lowest number of new cases since April 29. Another 176 people died over the past day, bringing total death toll to 8,781.

Ukraine reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be re-imposed if people continued to flout restrictions. Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine’s total to more than 41,000.

A fresh surge in coronavirus cases prompted Rwanda’s government to place six districts of the capital, Kigali, back under a strict lockdown. Kigali registered 21 new cases this month, the Ministry of Local Government said in a statement on Twitter. That brings the total to 850 cases and two deaths since the first case was diagnosed in March.

India neared half a million confirmed coronavirus cases with its biggest 24-hour spike of 17,296 new infections, prompting a delay in resumption of regular train services of more than a month. The new cases took India’s total to 490,401. The Health Ministry also reported 407 more deaths in the previous 24 hours, taking its total fatalities to 15,301.

Indonesia reported 1,240 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 51,427.

Vietnam warned the virus pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as Southeast Asian leaders met online for a summit also dominated by anxiety over Beijing’s moves in the flashpoint South China Sea.

Australia’s supermarket chains reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper and other household items as a spike in coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria set off a fresh round of panic-buying over fears of a new stay-at-home order.

Testing has continued to fall in Pakistan, one of the country’s with the fastest rates of growth of the coronavirus. On Thursday, Pakistan tested 21,041 patients, of whom 2,775 tested positive, a test-positive rate of 13 percent. Pakistan’s countrywide tally of cases rose to 195,745 cases on Thursday, with 59 deaths taking the death toll to 4,037.

Singapore reported 219 new COVID-19 cases as of noon on Friday (Jun 26), taking the national total to 42,955.