Lebanon reinstates lockdown after coronavirus spike: Live updates | News
- Lebanon has agreed to reinforce a nationwide lockdown from July 30 until August 3 after a spike in new cases threatens to overwhelm its healthcare system.
- Germany‘s foreign ministry has advised holidaymakers not to travel to several Spanish regions – including Catalonia, home to Barcelona – that have seen coronavirus infection rates rise.
- More than 16.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Some 9.6 million patients have recovered, and more than 654,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
Tuesday, July 28
18:28 GMT – Ecuador opens mobile testing centres as hospitals fill up
Authorities in Ecuador are deploying new sanitary mobile centers to ramp up testing and ease pressure on the health system.
Quito has become Ecuador’s COVID-19 hotspot, with total cases recently overtaking those in Guayaquil, the country’s second-largest city, which in March and April suffered one of Latin America’s worst outbreaks.
Quito now has 12,747 cases, with Ecuador’s total case count exceeding 82,000, according to figures released by the Health Ministry on Tuesday. Some 600 people have died in the capital, out of 5,584 deaths across the Andean nation.
18:15 GMT – NY’s Cuomo to investigate crowded Chainsmokers concert
New York’s governor says he is “appalled” by videos showing crowds standing close together at a Hamptons concert featuring electronic music duo The Chainsmokers over the weekend.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state Department of Health will investigate “egregious social distancing violations”.
Read more here.
17:45 GMT – Portugal’s popular Madeira makes masks compulsory in public
Wearing masks in public will be compulsory at all times on the popular Portuguese island of Madeira from August 1, the local government has announced on Tuesday, making it the first region in the country to adopt such a measure.
Madeira, popular for its wine and green landscape, has managed to keep its tally of coronavirus cases low since the pandemic started. It has reported 105 infections, with no new cases since Saturday.
“The use of the mask is exactly to show those who visit us the reason why we have these results,” said the region’s general health secretary, Pedro Ramos.
The use of masks in closed spaces and public transport is already compulsory in Madeira but now those on the streets must wear masks too.
17:19 GMT – France reports 14 more deaths, raising total to 30,223
French health authorities have reported 14 new deaths, taking the total to 30,223, a figure twice as high as the daily average increase of seven seen over the last week.
In a statement, authorities said the number of people in hospital for COVID-19 went down again, pursuing a two-month downward trend.
17:03 GMT – Georgia governor withdraws emergency request to stop Atlanta mask mandate
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has withdrawn his emergency request for a court to stop enforcement of Atlanta’s requirement that faces masks be worn in all public places, while mediation over the state’s legal effort to block the mandate proceeds.
Kemp sued Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the city two weeks ago to stop enforcement of the local mandate, aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The governor argued that the city lacks the authority to override his order encouraging but not requiring face coverings.
16:50 GMT – Italian PM seeks to extend emergency period
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has asked parliament to extend a state of emergency, which expands his government’s powers.
Opposition parties objected that Conte was trying to keep too much power in his own hands despite a dramatic fall in the rate of contagion.
“The virus continues to evolve and has not run its course. It would be incongruous to abruptly suspend such an effective measure,” Conte told the upper house, the Senate.
However, he drew back from requesting an extension until the end of the year, saying he only wanted a renewal until October.
16:46 GMT – Malta says 65 rescued migrants test positive
Sixty-five migrants who were in a group of 94 people rescued at sea and brought to Malta on Monday have tested positive for COVID-19, Malta’s health ministry has said.
It was the single largest cluster of positive cases detected on the Mediterranean island since the first case came to light in the country on March 7.
The health ministry said 85 of the migrants had been tested so far, with a further nine still awaiting a test.
Hundreds of rescued migrants arrive in Italy
16:44 GMT – Pfizer CEO says negotiating with EU on contract for vaccine: interview
Drugmaker Pfizer Inc is in concurrent talks with the European Union as well as several of its member states to sell them the COVID-19 vaccine candidate it is developing, Chief Executive Albert Bourla has said in an interview.
“We are negotiating with the EU because that would be much easier. But also we are having extensive discussions with several member states, just in case we can’t find agreement with the EU,” Bourla said.
16:33 GMT – Trump pushes anti-malaria drug, Fauci checks him
A week after appearing to project a more serious tone about the coronavirus, President Donald Trump is back to pushing unproven claims that an anti-malaria drug is an effective treatment and challenging the credibility of the nation’s leading infectious disease expert.
Dr Anthony Fauci pushed back Tuesday, saying he will keep doing his job.
Read more here.
15:12 GMT – Belarus president says he had asymptomatic coronavirus
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he has had the coronavirus without any symptoms and had already recovered from it, the BelTA news agency has quoted him as saying.
“Today, you are meeting a man who managed to survive the coronavirus on his feet. Doctors came to such a conclusion yesterday. Asymptomatic,” Lukashenko said during a meeting with the military.
The 65-year-old leader has resisted calls to impose lockdown measures or close the borders to contain the spread of the pandemic in the eastern European country.
14:38 GMT – Lebanon reinstates lockdown measures after virus rebound
Lebanon has agreed to reinforce nationwide lockdown measures after a spike in new cases threatens to overwhelm its healthcare system.
On Saturday, Lebanon recorded 175 new cases, its highest daily number of infections.
To stem a larger outbreak, the government ordered a lockdown from July 30 until August 3, Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said after a cabinet meeting.
The lockdown will be suspended from August 3 until August 6, with restaurants and cafes allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity while nightclubs, bars, indoor pools and public parks remain closed.
Lebanon, a country of some six million people, has recorded a total of 3,879 cases of COVID-19, including 51 deaths.
14:28 GMT – Fauci: Marlins’ outbreak endangers 2020 season
Dr Anthony Fauci fears the growing outbreak of the coronavirus within the Miami Marlins could threaten the 2020 baseball season.
Fauci said on ABC’s Good Morning America programme that Major League Baseball still has time to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“This could put it in danger,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“I don’t believe they need to stop, but we just need to follow this and see what happens with other teams on a day-by-day basis.”
The Marlins completed a three-game series in Philadelphia on Sunday but opted not to fly back to Miami after more than a dozen cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by positive tests.
14:24 GMT – Phillies baseball game postponed as players await COVID-19 test results
The Philadelphia Phillies game against the visiting New York Yankees on Tuesday has been postponed as some members of the home team await COVID-19 test results following their weekend series versus the Miami Marlins, a source has told Reuters.
The decision to postpone the second Phillies game in as many days follows their three-game season-opening series versus Miami, who have had a number of players test positive for the coronavirus.
14:08 GMT – Spain ‘safe’ for tourists despite virus spike: government
Spain remains a “safe” destination for tourists despite a rise in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country, the government has insisted.
The remarks came after the UK reimposed a 14-day quarantine on anyone arriving from Spain, and France and Germany warned against travel to certain parts of the country following a spike in cases.
“We want to send a clear message of confidence in our country,” said government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero after the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We are a secure destination that has made preparations and strengthened itself to deal with the virus and any outbreaks.”
14:03 GMT – Turkey plans to reopen all schools as long as virus keeps receding
Turkey plans to reopen schools nationwide on August 31, to get students back into classrooms and free up working parents, assuming a recent stabilisation in coronavirus cases holds.
Teachers and administrators are preparing on-site health precautions, but two government sources told Reuters that the daily infection rate may need to dip below the more than 900 seen recently to allow them to execute what they called Plan A.
Schools shifted to distance education in March, when Turkey identified its first case and began restricting movement.
13:50 GMT – Global air traffic won’t return to pre-crisis level before 2024: IATA
World air traffic will not return to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic until at least 2024, the International Air Transport Association has said.
Uncertainty about the timing of border reopenings is the main factor weighing on international traffic, IATA’s finance chief Brian Pearce told a news conference.
13:46 GMT – Spain approves new funding lines for companies, first tranche of 8 billion euros
The Spanish government has approved a new set of state-backed credit lines of up to 40 billion euros ($46.9bn) to help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, Spain’s economy minister, Nadia Calvino, has said.
Speaking after the weekly cabinet meeting, Calvino said that the first tranche of this new aid package would amount to around eight billion euros, of which five billion euros would go mainly to small and mid-sized companies.
Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Toronto, Canada taking over the live updates from my colleague Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha, Qatar.
12:30 GMT – Real Madrid’s Diaz tests positive
Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz has tested positive for COVID-19, the Spanish champions said, casting doubt on his participation in their Champions League tie at Manchester City next week.
Real said tests were conducted on the squad on Monday and that although Diaz was in “perfect health”, he would be self-isolating at home.
Mariano medical report.#RealMadrid
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) July 28, 2020
12:00 GMT – Coronavirus sharpening hunger in southern Africa, says bloc
Nearly 45 million people in 13 countries in southern Africa are food-insecure as a result of drought and flood and the impact of coronavirus, the region’s bloc has said.
The tally has risen almost 10 percent over last year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said in a report.
“Common climate-induced shocks … economic challenges and poverty have been further exacerbated by the devastating impact of COVID-19 on communities,” it said. Coronavirus restrictions have badly affected business activity, jobs and remittances.
11:45 GMT – Madrid tightens coronavirus restrictions
The Madrid regional government is making the wearing of face masks mandatory in all public areas, limiting how many people can gather in one place and targeting young people in a drive to stamp out new outbreaks of the coronavirus.
Regional government head Isabel Diaz Ayuso announced that no more than 10 people can be present at private gatherings.
Ayuso also said an information campaign will focus on young people, who are largely blamed for spreading the coronavirus through their social lives. She said young people “have it in their hands to reverse the trend”.
11:30 GMT – Greece to open ports to cruise ships on Saturday
Greece has announced it will open six of its big ports to tourist cruise ships starting on Saturday, after they were banned because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“All cruisers are welcome in Greece,” Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said on Tuesday. The country is to open the ports in Athens, Rhodes, Heraklion on Crete, Volos, Corfu and Katakolon, he added.
11:15 GMT – No indication new coronavirus is seasonal: WHO
The spread of the novel coronavirus does not appear to be impacted by seasonality, the World Health Organization has said, warning against false beliefs that summer is safer.
“Season does not seem to be affecting the transmission of this virus,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters in a virtual briefing.
She pointed out that some of the hardest-hit countries are currently in the middle of different seasons.
11:00 GMT – Barcelona’s soaring COVID-19 cases cause concern
Infection rates have been soaring in Spain with more than one thousand new cases reported on a daily basis in Catalonia.
It is feared the regional capital, Barcelona, will become the epicentre of the virus.
Al Jazeera’s Marta Herrero reports from Barcelona:
10:45 GMT – South Asian animal sellers go online for Eid al-Adha
Millions of goats, sheep and cattle are slaughtered annually during Eid al-Adha – the festival of sacrifice – one of two major holy days observed by Muslims across the world, including some 600 million in South Asia.
The pandemic has, however, badly hit India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which have shut or heavily restricted major markets, while fears of catching the virus are keeping customers away ahead of the main festival on Saturday.
Faced with deserted markets, livestock breeders and traders have turned to websites, apps and social media to showcase their animals.
Read more here.
10:30 GMT – Iran registers a record 235 coronavirus deaths in 24-hour period
Iran has reported 235 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, a record toll for a single day in the Middle East’s hardest-hit country.
“We have lost 235 of our compatriots due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours,” taking the overall toll to 16,147, said health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.
10:15 GMT – PM Khan warns of possible Eid al-Adha coronavirus spike
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned citizens to continue to strictly follow government guidelines on limiting interactions, warning of a possible new surge in cases after the Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha later this week.
Khan’s warning came as the country registered its lowest single-day rise in cases in almost three months, according to the latest government data.
Read more here.
10:00 GMT – Australia sends medical team to Papua New Guinea as cases rise
Australia said it was sending a medical team to help Papua New Guinea fight an outbreak of coronavirus after the neighbouring country experienced a rise in infections.
The Pacific nation, which had escaped the infection levels of its neighbours since the crisis escalated in March, has recorded an increase in new cases in the past week, according to data analysis firm Worldometer.
There were 62 confirmed virus cases as of late Tuesday, up from just eight infections 11 days ago.
09:30 GMT – Spain lockdown leaves one million jobless
The coronavirus epidemic has destroyed the jobs of over a million Spaniards, but with lockdowns preventing them from looking for work, they were excluded from the unemployment count, data showed.
Figures published by the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed the number of unemployed rose by only 55,000 between April and June to 3.4 million.
That pushed the unemployment rate to 15.3 percent from 14.4 percent in the first quarter.
09:15 GMT – IMF approves $4.3bn emergency loan to South Africa
The International Monetary Fund has approved a $4.3bn emergency loan to South Africa as it reels under the coronavirus pandemic.
The country has the world’s fifth-largest virus caseload, and confirmed cases are approaching half a million.
The IMF said South Africa was seeing a “sharp economic contraction,” though authorities responded swiftly to this latest crisis. The government weeks ago announced an historic $26bn economic relief package.
09:00 GMT – Rise in German virus numbers of ‘great concern’: health agency
The rapid rise in Germany’s coronavirus numbers is very worrying, the country’s Robert Koch Institute for disease control said on Tuesday, urging citizens to keep their distance and wear face masks.
“We must prevent that the virus once again spreads rapidly and uncontrollably,” RKI head Lothar Wieler told reporters.
“The latest developments in the number of COVID-19 cases is of great concern to me and all of us at the RKI,” he said.
Separately, Germany’s foreign ministry updated its travel advisory, recommending against travel to three regions in northern Spain grappling with renewed outbreaks.
08:45 GMT – Kenya extends coronavirus curfew, restricts alcohol sales
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has extended a nightly curfew and banned alcohol sales in restaurants as part of a bid to halt a steep rise in coronavirus cases.
In a stern televised address to the nation on Monday, Kenyatta said a countrywide curfew from 9pm to 4am will remain in place for another 30 days and that “there shall be no sale of alcoholic beverages or drinks in eateries and restaurants” over the same period.
Read more here.
08:30 GMT – Nissan forecasts $6.4bn annual net loss as virus bites
Crisis-hit Japanese automaker Nissan has warned of a massive $6.4bn net loss for the current fiscal year as it reels from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nissan, which had delayed an annual forecast because of ongoing uncertainty, issued the warning as it reported a first-quarter net loss of 285.6 billion yen ($2.7bn) on plunging sales.
08:15 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,748 new infections
Indonesia has reported 1,748 new coronavirus infections, bringing its tally to 102,051 confirmed cases overall, health ministry data showed.
The number of deaths in the Southeast Asian nation related to COVID-19 rose by 63, bringing the total to 4,901.
08:00 GMT – Taiwan probes possible first local virus case in one month as imported cases rise
Taiwan is investigating its first possible local coronavirus infection in more than a month, a Thai man who tested positive last week, as the island also faces a rise in cases brought from overseas.
Taiwan’s early response was effective in keeping the pandemic at bay, with just 467 infections and seven deaths. Most of the cases have been imported and have recovered.
Until the Thai man’s positive test, the island had not seen a local case of coronavirus infection since June 24.
07:45 GMT – Pakistan’s daily COVID-19 infections drop below 1,000
The number of infections has dropped below 1,000 for the first time in three months in Pakistan.
The country counted 936 new cases reported in the last 24 hours throughout the country of 220 million people.
Dr Zafar Mirza, special assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan, tweeted praise for Khan, urging Pakistanis to wear masks as the “most effective practice to reduce the transmission of the disease”.
Rise & fall in daily COVID-19 cases in Pakistan: on 14 June we had a peak of 6825 cases & in the last 24 hrs we had 936 cases in country – a decline of 86%. Last time we saw daily cases in three digits was almost 3 months ago, on 3 May. No place for any complacency please! pic.twitter.com/t8HzbDgLr0
— Zafar Mirza (@zfrmrza) July 28, 2020351>
07:30 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 820,000
Russia has reported 5,395 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its nationwide tally to 823,515, the fourth largest in the world.
Russia’s coronavirus taskforce said 150 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll in the country of around 145 million people to 13,504.
07:15 GMT – South Africa nearing half-million virus cases
South Africa is closing in on a half-million confirmed coronavirus cases as the country posted nearly 300 deaths in a single day.
South Africa now has 452,529 cases and 7,067 deaths, making up more than half the reported cases on the African continent. It has the fifth-highest caseload in the world.
Like many others, the country has struggled with trying to ease lockdown restrictions and then seeing cases rise. But businesses have expressed frustration as unemployment is now above 30 percent and likely to keep increasing.
07:00 GMT – France to reconsider plans to build fourth terminal at Paris airport
The French government will reconsider plans to build a fourth terminal at the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari has said.
“The project to receive 40 million more passengers by 2030 is probably no longer justified as it was planned,” Djebbari said on Europe 1 radio.
He said French airports would still need investment for upgrades and would have to make sure that new types of planes, such as hydrogen-powered planes, can land.
06:45 GMT – Police arrest leader of Sydney protests against racism
Police officers in Sydney have arrested a leader of an anti-racism protest and shut down the demonstration before it started after courts ruled the gathering in the city centre was illegal due to the coronavirus pandemic threat.
Organiser Paddy Gibson was among six people arrested in a park known as The Domain before the rally was due to start at noon. Two police officers were photographed leading a defiant Gibson away.
Police outnumbered protesters. Officers told demonstrators to move on as they arrived and the area was cleared 15 minutes before the scheduled start.
06:30 GMT – Vietnam locks down its 3rd-largest city as virus cases grow
Vietnam has locked down its third-largest city for two weeks after 15 cases of COVID-19 were found in a hospital, the government said.
Public transport into and out of the central city of Da Nang was cancelled. Over the weekend, thousands of mostly Vietnamese tourists had to end their summer holidays in the popular beach destination. The lockdown has dealt a hard blow to the tourism industry, which was just being revived after earlier coronavirus cases mostly subsided at the end of April.
Hi, this is Elizabeth Melimopoulos in Doha taking over the live updates from my colleague Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
05:15 GMT – Najib crowd raises concerns about social distancing in Malaysia
Hundreds of people turned out at the Kuala Lumpur court on Tuesday, as a judge prepared to deliver his verdict in the 1MDB-corruption case involving former prime minister Najib Razak.
While many were wearing masks, not all were, and there was no physical distancing despite police announcements urging people to keep their distance.
What are we doing?
Behaviour of total denial in a major lethal Pandemic.
Why did we not stop this?
Where are the authorities? https://t.co/ZxHFxbse7E
— Amar-Singh HSS (@DrAmarMOH) July 28, 2020
05:00 GMT – Red Cross urges vigilance in the Philippines
The Red Cross in the Philippines is urging people to be more vigilant as COVID-19 cases in the country jump by more than a thousand each day, and an increasing number of hospitals are reporting they can no longer accommodate more patients
More than 80,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with more than 42,000 cases confirmed in July.
“The biggest threat is complacency as we are far from being out of the woods,” Philippine Red Chairman Richard Gordon said in a statement. “We need to act like we already have the virus and keep wearing face masks and practising proper handwashing and physical distancing.”
MEDIA RELEASE: Red Cross is urging everyone in the #Philippines to be even more vigilant as #COVID19 cases continue to jump by more than a thousand each day following the easing of quarantine restrictions: https://t.co/jAYiZToq69 pic.twitter.com/PT5EsfT6qy
— IFRC Asia Pacific (@IFRCAsiaPacific) July 28, 2020
04:10 GMT – Japan ignores ridicule to press ahead with ‘Abenomask’
They might have been widely ridiculed as ineffective and a waste of money when first announced, but Japan is pushing ahead with plans to give 80 million “Abenomasks” to nursing homes and daycare centres.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters: “The masks are relatively low cost and help curb demand.”
Commercially-made masks are now readily available, even as cases climb, in Japan.
02:50 GMT – Australia’s Morrison cuts short interstate tour because of coronavirus
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has cut short an interstate tour because of what he says is a “very complex” outbreak of coronavirus in nursing homes in the southern city of Melbourne, likely transmitted to them through the people working in the facilities.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has said 769 cases have been linked to nursing homes.
“I cannot stand here and tell you that I have confidence that staff and management across a number of private-sector aged care facilities are able to provide the care that is appropriate to keep their residents safe,” Andrews told reporters.
02:30 GMT – Vietnam suspends Danang flights
Vietnam has suspended all flights in and out of the central city of Danang after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases there, the first community infections since April.
Flights will be suspended for 15 days, and train services have also been halted.
An evacuation plan for local visitors to the popular tourist destination was announced yesterday.
02:15 GMT – China reports 68 new cases, all but four locally transmitted
Mainland China has reported 68 new cases of coronavirus, 64 of them locally transmitted.
Fifty-seven of the local cases were diagnosed in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to state media.
No deaths from COVID-19 were reported anywhere in the country.
Chinese mainland reported 68 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Monday, including four imported cases and 64 locally-transmitted ones https://t.co/nDvUWWbLkb pic.twitter.com/tfARS8Ott7
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) July 28, 2020
02:05 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports 384 new cases
The Australian state of Victoria has reported 384 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths in the past 24 hours.
On Monday, the state reported a record 532 cases.
00:30 GMT – Peru says more than 900 women, girls feared dead
Peru says more than 900 girls and women are feared to have died as a result of domestic violence during the country’s extended coronavirus lockdown; some 70 percent of those missing were under the age of 18.
“During the quarantine from March 16 to June 30, 915 women in Peru were reported missing,” and feared dead, Elionar Revollar, the head of the women’s rights office of the National Ombudsman was quoted as saying by AFP.
The number of women reported missing each day has risen to eight compared with five before the pandemic.
00:15 GMT – UN warns on wasting, stunting
The UN says nearly seven million more children will suffer stunting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting food supplies.
Writing in The Lancet, a team of experts modelled the impact on 118 poor and middle-income countries and found the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under five would increase by 14.3 percent, or an extra 6.7 million cases.
Wasting occurs when the body is so malnourished that muscles and fat begin to disappear.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (July 27) here.