• Australia recorded its highest ever daily tally of deaths from the novel coronavirus, all in Victoria as authorities in the state battled scores of clusters of infection.

  • The number of coronavirus infections has hit 16 million worldwide, while more than 644,500 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. More than 9.26 million people have recovered.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown over coronavirus concerns, and declared a state of emergency to contain a potential outbreak, North Korea’s state media reported on Sunday.

  • Vietnam is again on high alert for the coronavirus after medical officials in the central city of Da Nang detected the country’s first locally transmitted case in three months.

 

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, July 26

 

10:12 GMT – Madagascar opens new coronavirus treatment center

Madagascar has launched a new coronavirus treatment center amid rising infections and hospitals being overwhelmed, the president said.

In a series of tweets, Andry Rajoelina said the Mahamasina treatment center in the capital Antananarivo can accommodate 250 COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms.

“In these difficult times, I call on the nation to show unity and solidarity in the fight against the epidemic,” Rajoelina said.

09:50 GMT – Virus outbreak on German farm leaves almost 500 locked down

Almost 500 people have been confined to a farm in southern Germany after a new coronavirus outbreak prompted authorities to lay down a quarantine, local officials say.

So far, 174 harvest workers have been discovered to be infected with the coronavirus, which can lead to a case of the potentially deadly disease Covid-19.

A security service has been hired to make sure no one leaves, said officials from the Dingolfing-Landau region late on Saturday.

09:33 GMT – UK foreign secretary defends quarantine measures

Britain’s foreign secretary defended the government’s decision to immediately impose COVID-19 quarantine measures on UK travelers returning from Spain, saying it just wasn’t possible to give them more notice.

Dominic Raab told Sky News that vague advice would have created more uncertainty. He said that the government must be able to take quick action to fight the virus.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab makes a statement on Hong Kong's national security legislation in London

The move to take Spain off a safe-travel list was announced late on Saturday and took effect from midnight (2300 GMT on Saturday), leaving travellers with no time to dodge it or plan ahead [Hannah McKay/Reuters]

09:04 GMT – Tokyo confirms 239 new coronavirus cases on Sunday- local media

Tokyo officials confirmed 239 new coronavirus infections, Japanese media reported, as the capital struggles with a resurgence in cases after the government lifted a state of emergency.

The total marks the sixth straight day new cases in the city have exceeded 200.

While Japan was spared the kind of surge in infections that have killed tens of thousands in other countries, Tokyo has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level after a series of new cases

08:40 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,492 new coronavirus cases, 67 deaths

Indonesia reported 1,492 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total tally to 98,778, data from the country’s Health Ministry website showed.

The number of deaths in the Southeast Asian nation related to COVID-19 rose by 67, bringing the total to 4,781, the data showed.

Indonesia street children

Indonesia has the highest number of cases in the South East Asia region [Jessica Washington/Al Jazeera]

08:16 GMT – Government “shambolic” on making Spanish quarantine decision, says UK’s Labour

The way the government made a decision to impose a quarantine on those people travelling from Spain to Britain was “shambolic”, the health policy chief for Britain’s main opposition Labour Party said on Sunday.

“I can understand why the government have made this decision … but of course the way in which this decision has been made in the last 24 hours is frankly shambolic,” Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News, saying the government had given those Britons holidaying in Spain no time to plan for a quarantine by bringing in the new rule with little notice.

07:52 GMT – Russia reports 5,765 new coronavirus cases in past 24 hours

Russia reported 5,765 new coronavirus cases and 77 more deaths, a steep decline from the 146 deaths reported a day earlier.

The nationwide tally of infections has risen to 812,485, Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said. 

Russia's coronavirus cases exceed 806,000

The COVID-19 death toll now stands at 13,269 and 600,250 people have recovered [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu]

07:31 GMT – Brazil reports over 1,200 deaths

Brazil reported 1,211 deaths from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, according to its Health Ministry.

The South American nation, one of the worst-hit countries in the world, registered a death toll of 86,449 with the latest fatalities, according to the ministry.

07:07 GMT – South Africa reports over 12,000 new cases

South Africa has announced more than 12,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases as the total in one of the world’s worst affected countries reaches 434,200 with 6,655 deaths.

South Africa makes up well over half the confirmed cases on the African continent, where experts say the virus could smoulder in areas poorly served by health services.

Africa now has more than 828,000 cases. The true number of cases on the continent of 1.3 billion people is unknown because of testing shortages and insufficient data.






Who says face masks have to be boring?

06:42 GMT – Israel arrests protestors demonstrating against pandemic policy

Israeli police arrested 12 people and used water cannons before dawn on Sunday to disperse furious protesters against government coronavirus policies in Jerusalem, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against joblessness, corruption, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.

06:01 GMT – Restrictions reimposed in Vietnam after first locally transmitted cases 

Vietnam reimposed restrictions in one of its most popular beach destinations after a second person tested positive for COVID-19, the first locally transmitted cases in the country in over three months.

Da Nang authorities in central Vietnam banned gatherings of more than 30 people in public places as well as all sport, cultural and religious events in the city of 1.1 million. Theme parks, beauty salons, bars and clubs were also ordered shut.


Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.


 05:08 GMT – UK tourists in Spain ‘panicking’ over quarantine order

British tourists flying home on Sunday after a holiday in Spain angrily reacted to an abrupt decision by their government to make everyone arriving from the Mediterranean country spend 14 days in quarantine.

The UK’s decision late on Saturday to take Spain off a safe-travel list over a rise in coronavirus cases took effect from midnight (23:00 GMT on Saturday), leaving travellers with no time to dodge it, and with major concerns about their returns, tourists at Madrid’s Barajas airport said.

Spain was one of the worst hit countries in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic, with nearly 290,000 cases and more than 28,000 deaths. It imposed very strict lockdown measures to contain the spread, gradually easing them earlier in the summer.

04:25 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state records 10 deaths overnight

Australia’s Victoria state has recorded 10 deaths overnight from COVID-19, its highest daily toll amid a continuing surge in coronavirus cases.

State Premier Daniel Andrews said the deaths included seven men and three women. A man in his 40s became one of the youngest COVID-19 victims in Australia.

There are 459 new infections, the 21st straight day of triple-figure increases.

The deaths bring Victoria’s toll to 71 and Australia’s national tally to 155. A total of 228 people are hospitalised in Victoria, 42 in intensive care. Australia has recorded more than 14,400 cases.

04:05 GMT – Italian city slaps $1,150 fines on mask rule violators

Failure to wear a mask inside stores in the southern city of Salerno has proven costly to many, the AP news agency reported.

Three people in the port city in the Campania region received 1,000-euro ($1,150) fines on Saturday, the Corriere della Sera reported.

Campania Govenor Vincenzo De Luca signed an ordinance on Friday, provisioning for fines of up to 1,000 euros for not wearing masks in closed public places. Similar fines were handed out on the tourist island of Ischia, in three cafes and in a restaurant, also in the Campania region.

Campania accounted for 21 of Italy’s 275 new virus cases on Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health. Five deaths were reported in the nation of 60 million since Friday, raising its COVID-19 death toll to 35,102.

03:50 GMT – Greece reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

Greek authorities have announced 31 new cases in the last 24 hours, with eight from arrivals from abroad. There were no reported deaths, AP news agency reported.

This developed as authorities announced that visitors from Bulgaria and Romania will need to present a negative test for the virus, taken over the 72 hours preceding their arrival. This measure will go into effect Tuesday.

Greece’s health minister Vassilis Kikilias says eventual vaccination against the coronavirus will not be mandatory, but “strongly recommended.” Kikilias says “vulnerable groups” such as the elderly and those with serious underlying diseases, will have priority.

Total confirmed cases in Greece stand at 4,166 infections and 201 deaths.

03:30 GMT – South Korea COVID-19 cases down as imported infections fall

South Korea

A child model presents a creation during a fashion show, wearing a mask as a measure to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Seoul on Friday [Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters]

South Korea’s new coronavirus cases dropped to under 60 on Sunday, a day after the country recorded its highest figure in nearly four months due to a surge in infections among people arriving from abroad, Yonhap news agency reported.

The country added 58 new cases, including 46 cases from abroad, bringing the total to 14,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The number of new infections was down 55 from Saturday, when the country’s new cases surged to 113, including 86 cases from South Korean workers’ returning home from Iraq and Russian sailors. It marked the first time since April 1 for the country to report more than 100 cases.

There were no additional deaths, keeping the total death toll at 298.

03:19 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 305 to 205,269

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 305 to 205,269, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll was unchanged with 9,118, the tally showed.

02:43 GMT – France expands free COVID-19 testing as infection rates rise

French health authorities are making COVID-19 tests available free of charge without prescription as they closely monitor an uptick in infections after the lifting of lockdown measures, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday.

PCR nasal swab tests, which detect COVID-19 infections caused by the novel coronavirus, will be freely available on demand under government orders published on Saturday.

France has recorded 30,192 deaths attributed to the coronavirus, among a total of 180,528 cases of the disease, according to statistics published on Friday.

The number of new daily infections rose above 1,000 for a second day running – around their daily level when lockdown measures were eased in May, following two months of confinement.

02:30 GMT – Lebanon reports highest daily count of COVID-19 cases

Lebanon has reported the highest daily count of coronavirus cases with 175, bringing the total to more than 3,500, according to AP news agency.

Lebanese officials warn of a spike in infections following the easing of restrictions after the country’s only airport opened on July 1. Government officials have urged people to observe social distancing and wear masks.

The country of about 5 million has 47 confirmed deaths and 3,582 reported cases. The government is considering reintroducing restrictions, including closing gyms and nightclubs, which reopened for business after the country relaxed its lockdown.

02:09 GMT – Costa Rica registers record 931 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths

Costa Rica’s Health Ministry has reported a record 931 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths, both single-day highs for the small Central American nation where 72 percent of all its confirmed cases have been registered since the beginning of this month.

In total, Costa Rican authorities have reported 14,600 cases and 98 deaths in the country of 5 million people, according to Reuters news agency.

Despite the increase in cases, hotels are operational and the government has announced European, British, and Canadian tourists will be allowed to enter the country beginning August 1. 

01:40 GMT – Mainland China reports 46 new coronavirus cases, including 22 in Xinjiang

China - theatre

Beijing partially reopened movie theatres on Friday as the threat from the coronavirus continues to recede in China’s capital [Mark Schiefelbein/AP]

China reported 46 cases of the new coronavirus in the mainland for July 25, up from 34 cases a day earlier, Reuters reported on Sunday, quoting the country’s health commission.

Of the new infections, 22 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. Thirteen were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, while the remaining 11 were imported cases.

China reported two new asymptomatic cases, down from 74 a day earlier.

As of the end of Saturday, mainland China had 83,830 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 4,634.

01:04 GMT – North Korea’s Kaesong placed under lockdown

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown over coronavirus concerns and declared a state of emergency to contain a potential outbreak, AP news agency reported on Sunday quoting North Korea’s state media.

The “maximum emergency system” was implemented after a person was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms in the city, the Korean Central News Agency said. It said the person is a runaway who had fled to South Korea years ago before illegally crossing the border into the North early last week.

If that person is officially declared a virus patient, he or she would be the North’s first confirmed coronavirus case. North Korea has steadfastly said it has no single virus case on its territory, a claim questioned by outside experts.

01:00 GMT – Mexico reports 6,751 new coronavirus cases, 729 new deaths

Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 6,751 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 729 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 385,036 cases and 43,374 total deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, according to Reuters news agency.

00:29 GMT – Brazil registers 1,211 coronavirus deaths, health ministry says

Brazil registered an additional 1,211 deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and another 51,147 confirmed cases, Reuters news agency reported quoting the health ministry.

The South American nation has now registered 86,449 deaths and 2,394,513 total confirmed cases as of the end of Saturday.

00:16 GMT – Israelis protest against Netanyahu’s handling of pandemic

Israel protest

Police use water cannons during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged corruption and his government’s handling of the coronavirus disease crisis, near his residence in Jerusalem early on Sunday [Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Jerusalem to denounce Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as alleged corruption in his government.

Images from Jerusalem showed some of the protesters clashing with police outside the residence of Netanyahu on Saturday night.

The number of people to test positive for coronavirus in Israel topped 60,000 on Saturday as the government struggled to contain a resurgence in infection rates.

With a population of nine million, Israel has reported a total of 455 fatalities from the pandemic.

Israel was one of the first countries to impose a nationwide lockdown and initially was successful in clamping down on the outbreak, before cases surged anew.

00:01 GMT – US state of Arizona reports over 3,700 new cases

Hurricane Hanna roared ashore on the United States’ Gulf Coast in the state of Texas, bringing winds that lashed the shoreline with rain and storm surge – and even threatening to bring possible tornadoes to a part of the country trying to cope with a spike in coronavirus cases.

The first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall Saturday afternoon at 22:00 GMT. As of Saturday evening, it had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph).

Many parts of Texas, including the area where Hanna came ashore, have been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, but local officials said they were prepared for whatever the storm might bring.

________________________________________________________________

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 25, here.



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