Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
- Brazil has expressed cautious optimism that the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be about to slow, with cases and deaths on a weekly basis falling from their late July peaks.
- Kamala Harris accuses US President Donald Trump of a “failure of leadership” for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- More than 22 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and at least 14 million have recovered. Nearly 784,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, August 20
00:30 GMT – Harris says Trump ‘failure’ on coronavirus cost US lives
Kamala Harris will accuse US President Donald Trump of a “failure of leadership” during the coronavirus pandemic that has cost countless lives and jobs, when she accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination to be their candidate for vice president at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night (US time).
Harris will also attack Trump’s abilities and character, according to excerpts released to news agencies.
Trump’s “incompetence makes us feel afraid [and] the callousness makes us feel alone.”
The US has recorded the most cases and the most deaths from coronavirus of any country in the world.
You can keep up-to-date with all the developments from the convention, which is being held online, here.
00:15 GMT – Trump touts convalescent plasma as coronavirus treatment
US President Donald Trump is touting the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus, saying he’s “heard fantastic things” about it.
Trump made his comments after the New York Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration had put on hold emergency approval for the treatment because of concerns the data on plasma use was too weak.
The president, who is facing reelection in November, claimed the decision could be political.
“You have a lot of people over there that don’t want to rush things because they want to do it after November 3,” Trump said, referring to the election.
“I’ve heard numbers way over 50 percent success. And people are dying and we should have it approved if it’s good and I’m hearing it’s good. I hear from people at the FDA it’s good.”
The blood plasma of people who recover from COVID-19 contains antibodies that were created to fight off the infection. It has been used in some countries including China to help other patients battling the disease.
00:00 GMT – Cautious optimism in Brazil as study shows transmission rate below one
Brazil’s Health Ministry says there are signs the coronavirus outbreak in the country – the world’s second-worst – could be about to slow.
The number of confirmed cases dropped to 304,684 last week, compared with a peak of 319,653 in the week ending July 25. The number of deaths reported on a weekly basis has also fallen to 6,755 from a peak of 7,677 in the last week of July.
A study by Imperial College London also shows Brazil’s transmission rate has fallen below one, according to local media. That means each person diagnosed with the disease will infect fewer than one person, which will slow the outbreak.
“In a way, it is a trend. We have to see how the disease behaves in the next two weeks to see if there is a significant drop,” Arnaldo Medeiros, Secretary of Health Surveillance, told reporters on Wednesday.
Daily figures continue to show a steady rise in cases and deaths with the country registering a total of 3,456,652 cases of the disease and 111,100 deaths.
Read all the updates from yesterday (August 19) here.
Al Jazeera and news agencies