Covid-19 wrap: Global cases pass 18.14m, UK to roll out 90-minute tests, US 'new phase' warning

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 18.14 million, death toll at 688 080

More than 18.14 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 688 080 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.


US adds 47 508 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours - Johns Hopkins

Washington – The US notched 47 508 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Sunday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

There were also 515 new deaths, according to the Baltimore-based university's real-time count at 20:30 (00:30 GMT Monday).

Sunday's toll was a slight dip, as the previous five days had all recorded more than 60 000 new infections.

The US has now tallied 4 665 002 cases and 154 834 deaths, making it by far the hardest-hit country in the world.

The new numbers came as Florida battened down for Tropical Storm Isaias, even as it battles a coronavirus outbreak which has complicated preparations.

Florida has the second-highest caseload of all states except California – which has double the population.

Governor Ron DeSantis said it's better to "just hunker down rather than sending people to the road" – with shelters usually crowded and social distancing difficult – unless the situation became more threatening.

On Sunday, Florida reported 77 Covid-19 deaths, down from a record 179 the day before, bringing its death total to 6 920.

 - AFP

Top coronavirus advisor warns US in 'new phase' of pandemic

Washington – The United States has entered a "new phase" of the pandemic, White House coronavirus advisor Deborah Birx warned on Sunday, with rural areas just as threatened as major cities.

Birx, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN's State of the Union that local virus mitigation procedures were starting to work, but added that "what we are seeing today is different from March and April".

"It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas," she added. "To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus."

"We are in a new phase," Birx said.

She added that sticking to health and safety guidelines – such as wearing a mask, maintaining personal hygiene and observing social distancing – was crucial.

As of Sunday, the US had tallied more than 4 665 000 cases of Covid-19 and 154 834 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, making it by far the hardest-hit country in the world.

 - AFP

Britain to roll out millions of 90-minute coronavirus tests

LONDON – Millions of Covid-19 tests able to detect the virus within 90 minutes will be rolled out to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories to boost capacity in the coming months, the country's health minister said on Monday.

They will comprise 5.8 million tests using DNA and 450 000 swab tests. Neither will need to be administered by a health professional, said Matt Hancock.

"The fact these tests can detect flu as well as Covid-19 will be hugely beneficial as we head into winter, so patients can follow the right advice to protect themselves and others," he said.

Separately, the publicly-funded National Health Service said it would be offering "Covid-friendly" treatments to cancer patients, including drugs that do not have a big impact on the immune system.

Britain's healthcare system has come under severe strain during peaks in the country's Covid-19 outbreak, which has killed more than 46 000 people, the fourth highest toll in the world, according to a Reuters tally collated on Sunday.


Brazil registers 25 800 new coronavirus cases, death toll tops 94 000

BRASILIA – Brazil recorded 25 800 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 541 deaths from the disease caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday.

Brazil has registered more than 2.73 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 94 104, according to ministry data.


Mexico reports 4 853 new coronavirus cases, 274 more deaths

MEXICO CITY – Mexico's health ministry on Sunday reported 4 853 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 274 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 439 046 cases and 47 746 deaths.

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


Philippines' confirmed coronavirus cases exceed 100 000

MANILA – The Philippines on Sunday reported 5 032 additional coronavirus infections, its largest single-day increase on record, taking the country's confirmed cases to 103 185.

In a bulletin, the Department of Health also said the Southeast Asian country's coronavirus death toll had jumped by 20 to 2 059.

President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to meet key cabinet members on Sunday to discuss a call by medical frontliners' groups to put the capital Manila, which accounts for the bulk of infections, back under a stricter lockdown, his spokesperson said.


India reports 52 972 new coronavirus infections

BENGALURU – India reported 52 972 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1.8 million, data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare showed on Monday.

With 771 new deaths, the Covid-19 disease has now claimed 38 135 lives in the world's second-most populous country.


Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 509 to 210 402 - RKI

BERLIN – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 509 to 210 402, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

The reported death toll rose by seven to 9 148, the tally showed.


Russia reports more than 5 300 new coronavirus cases

MOSCOW – Russia reported 5 394 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, pushing its national tally to 856 264, the fourth largest in the world.

Officials said 79 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 14 207.


Indonesia reports 1 679 new coronavirus cases, 66 deaths

JAKARTA – Indonesia recorded 1 679 new coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 113 134, official data on the health ministry website showed.

The data also showed there were 66 additional deaths, taking the overall number of fatalities to 5 302.


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