Covid-19 wrap: Global deaths pass 530 000, US records 43 742 new cases and India reopens Taj Mahal

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 11.32 million, death toll at 530 254

LONDON – More than 11.32 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 530 254 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 records 43 742 new virus cases in 24 hours - tracker

Washington – The United States notched more than 43 000 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed on Saturday, amid a surge of infections around the country.

The Baltimore-based university's tracker showed 43 742 more cases as of 20:30 (00:30 GMT Sunday), bringing the country's total number of cases since the pandemic began to 2 836 764.

The university also recorded a further 252 fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 129 657.

The uptick in cases came after three consecutive days of record numbers of new infections, including a high of 57 683 on Friday. Saturday's lower number could be attributed to less reporting on the July 4th national holiday.

 - AFP

Mexico becomes fifth-hardest hit country in pandemic, surpassing France

Mexico City – Mexico's death toll from the new coronavirus rose to 30 366 on Saturday, propelling it past France to become the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities in the global pandemic, according to the health ministry.

"As of today, 30 366 people who had tested positive for Covid-19 in the laboratory have died," Jose Luis Alomia, national director of the Department of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, told a press conference.

The US remains the hardest-hit country in the world, followed by Brazil, Britain and Italy, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

 - AFP

Coronavirus cases rising in Saudi Arabia, UAE after curfews lifted

DUBAI – Saudi Arabia's coronavirus infections have passed 200 000 and neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE) 50 000, with the number of new cases climbing after the Arab world's two largest economies fully lifted curfews last month.

Restrictions had been in place in both countries since mid-March and their gradual lifting has allowed commercial businesses and public venues to reopen.

Other Gulf countries have also moved to ease restrictions, although Kuwait has maintained a partial curfew and Qatar, Bahrain and Oman did not impose one at all.

Saudi Arabia, which has the highest count among the six Gulf states, reported more than 4 100 cases on Friday and on Saturday to take its total to 205 929, with 1 858 deaths. The daily tally first rose above 4 000 in mid-June, but had dipped.

The United Arab Emirates, where daily infection rates recently dropped to between 300 and 400 from a peak of some 900 in late May, registered more than 600 cases on Friday and over 700 on Saturday, taking its toll to 50 857, with 321 deaths.


Philippines records highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases

MANILA – The Philippines reported its biggest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases on Sunday, adding 2 434 confirmed infections and taking the total count to 44 254, the health ministry said.

The ministry said the rise could be attributed to increased contact among people as the country began easing lockdown measures to help reduce the pandemic's damage to the economy.

The Philippines also recorded seven new deaths, the ministry said, bringing total fatalities to 1 297.


Iran reports new record one-day virus death toll of 163 - official

Tehran – Iranian health authorities on Sunday announced 163 new deaths due to the Covid-19 disease, the country's highest official one-day toll since the outbreak began in February.

The previous record of 162 deaths was announced on Monday in the Islamic republic, which has been battling the Middle East's deadliest outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The new deaths bring the total toll in Iran to 11 571, health ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.

"In the past 24 hours, 2 560 people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections to 240 438," Lari added.

 - AFP

India to reopen Taj Mahal with social distancing, masks

NEW DELHI – Visitors to the Taj Mahal will have to wear masks at all times, keep their distance and not touch its glistening marble surfaces when India's 17th-century monument to love reopens on Monday after a three-month Covid-19 shutdown.

Only 5 000 tourists will be allowed in a day, split into two groups, a far cry from peak levels of 80 000 a day who would swarm the mausoleum built in the northern city of Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, in a 22-year effort.

"All centrally protected monuments & sites shall be bound by the protocols like sanitisation, social distancing & other health protocols," the federal tourism ministry said in a tweet.

Authorities are reopening the Taj and other monuments, such as New Delhi's historic Red Fort, just as India's coronavirus infections are rising at the fastest pace in three months.

On Sunday, the health ministry reported a record single-day spike of 24 850 new cases and more than 600 deaths, pushing the overall case tally to 673 165, closing in on Russia, the third-most affected country globally.


Brazil registers 37 923 new cases of coronavirus, 1 091 deaths

BRASILIA – Brazil recorded 37 923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, as well as 1 091 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64 265, according to the ministry.


Russia's coronavirus cases surpass 680 000

MOSCOW – Russia on Sunday reported 6 736 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally to 681 251.

The authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10 161.


Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196 335 - RKI

BERLIN – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196 335, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9 012, the tally showed.


Indonesia reports highest daily tally of coronavirus deaths

JAKARTA – Indonesia reported 82 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday in its highest daily tally, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said, taking the toll to 3 171.

Infections rose by 1 607, for a total of 63 749 cases, he added.


South Africa reports 10 000 new infections in record 24-hour surge

Johannesburg – South Africa on Saturday reported more than 10 000 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily jump on record as it hurtles towards an anticipated spike.

Daily tallies released by the health ministry showed 10 853 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, taking the cumulative tally since March when the virus first arrived in the country to 187 977.

The death toll stands at 3 026 after 74 new fatalities were recorded.

Health authorities have been expecting a surge in cases after the gradual loosening of a strict lockdown that was imposed on 27 March.

"What we have been seeking to do is to balance…saving lives of our people and also preserving livelihoods, and it's a delicate balance," President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday.

South Africa now has the highest number of coronavirus cases on the continent.

 - AFP

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