Covid-19 wrap: 577 366 global deaths, US adds another 63 000 cases and Australia weighs harsher curbs

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

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Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 13.37 million, death toll at 577 366

More than 13.37 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 577 366 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

 - REUTERS


US clocks up another 63 000 virus cases in 24 hours

Washington – The United States recorded 63 262 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday.

The total number of cases recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic now exceeds 3.42 million, according to the Baltimore-based university.

Covid-19 also claimed 850 new victims in the United States in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 136 432, according to the institution's tracker at 20:30 on Tuesday (00:30 GMT Wednesday).

The world's wealthiest country has in recent weeks seen a surge in infections, mainly in its south and west, which have kept it by far the most affected nation.

In Florida, which was one of the first states to lift lockdown restrictions, for example, officials reported 132 deaths on Tuesday – a new daily record for the state – while more than 9 000 new cases of the virus were detected there in the past 24 hours.

 - AFP


Australia weighs further coronavirus curbs as outbreak grows

SYDNEY – Australia's most populous states will impose harsher restrictions on movement if a Covid-19 outbreak is not quickly brought under control, state premiers said on Wednesday.

Australia has been heralded as a global leader in containing Covid-19, but in the last week it has seen a surge in new cases.

Desperate to contain the outbreak, Victoria state last week forced about five million people into a six-week lockdown. Still, Victoria said it has found another 238 cases in the last 24 hours.

Nationally, Australia has now recorded about 10 500 cases, while the death toll rose to 111 on Wednesday after a woman in her 90s died from the virus.

 - REUTERS


Mexico reports 7 051 new cases of coronavirus, 836 more deaths

MEXICO CITY – Mexico's Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 7 051 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 836 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 311 486 cases and 36 327 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

 - REUTERS


Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 351 to 199 726 - RKI

BERLIN – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 351 to 199 726, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.

The reported death toll rose by three to 9 071, the tally showed.

 - REUTERS


US base on Japan's Okinawa confirms 36 more coronavirus cases - Kyodo

TOKYO – Authorities have confirmed 36 more coronavirus infections at Camp Hansen on Japan's Okinawa, taking to 136 the tally at US military bases on the island, Kyodo News said on Wednesday.

The outbreak emerged over the weekend, provoking the anger of the prefecture's governor, who has called into question the US military's virus prevention measures.

 - REUTERS


Nigeria doctors launch latest strike amid pandemic

Lagos – Doctors in Nigeria's largest city Lagos began a three-day warning strike on Monday over welfare and inadequate protective kits, but said medics handling coronavirus cases would not be involved.

The industrial action is the latest in a string of stoppages by medics to hit Africa's most populous nation as it struggles to halt rising infections.

Doctors under the auspices of the Medical Guild Association said they called the strike after the Lagos state government failed to meet demands for additional pay and better protection.

"The issue of Covid-19 hazard allowances and inducement allowances…approved by the federal government to the doctors has not been approved by Lagos government to her doctors," leader Oluwajimi Sodipo said in a statement.

He said the stoppage would not include members working in coronavirus isolation wards despite a backlog in their wages.

"Doctors working in Covid-19 isolation centres are still being owed two months; salaries which have remained unpaid at the moment," he said. "Our members are putting themselves on the line daily to provide care, and we need to do everything to protect our colleagues."

 - AFP


Morocco reimposes Tangiers lockdown after virus spike

Rabat – Morocco on Monday announced a return to lockdown measures in the northern port city of Tangiers to smother a new outbreak of the novel coronavirus, weeks after easing nationwide restrictions.

The city of about a million inhabitants was locked down from Monday at noon local time, with public transport suspended, cafes and public spaces closed and movement restricted.

Residents are only allowed to leave their homes "in cases of extreme necessity", the Interior Ministry said in a statement, adding that "exceptional authorisation from local authorities" would be required for movement within or beyond the city.

Authorities decided to reimpose the measures to "prevent the spread of the virus" after "new infection clusters" appeared, it said.

 - AFP


Two Madagascar lawmakers die with coronavirus

Antananarivo – Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Sunday said two lawmakers – one member of the senate and one deputy – had died after becoming infected with coronavirus.

Eleven other deputies and 14 senators had also tested positive for the virus, Rajoelina said.

The Indian Ocean island on 5 July placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in infections, two months after the restrictions were eased.

It has recorded 2 573 infections, including 35 deaths with the government estimating that the peak will not be reached until the end of August.

In April, Rajoelina launched a local herbal concoction he claimed prevents and cures the novel coronavirus. He has since been promoting the brew for export, saying it is the country's "green gold" which will "change history".

The potential benefits of Covid-Organics, a tonic derived from artemisia – a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment – and other indigenous herbs, have not been validated by any scientific study.

 - AFP


Nigeria gets medical equipment from ECOWAS to fight virus

Lagos – West African regional grouping ECOWAS said on Saturday it had donated medical equipment to Nigeria to assist in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"The ECOWAS Commission, through the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) has handed over essential medical equipment to the government of Nigeria as part of the regional response strategy to the Covid-19 pandemic," the 15-member bloc said in a statement.

The Economic Community of West African States said the donation was "aimed at managing and curtailing the spread of the deadly virus".

It said the items included 12 800 goggles, 294 000 small, medium and large gloves, 23 220 small, medium and large gowns, 8 190 coveralls and 1 600 face shields.

"Other items also delivered were 12 000 masks, 10 000 surgical masks, 5 000 sanitisers, 40 512 diagnostic test kits and two each of ventilators and trolleys," it said.

 - AFP


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