Iranian health authorities announce 163 new deaths due to the COVID-19 as the number of fatalities rises to 11,571.
Iran recorded its highest number of deaths from COVID-19 within a 24-hour period, official health ministry figures showed. The 163 deaths reported on Sunday exceeded the previous record from last Monday, when the health ministry reported 162 deaths in a day.
- Coronavirus infections in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia rise after curfews were fully lifted last month.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after the medications failed to reduce mortality.
- Over 212,000 new coronavirus cases were reported globally by WHO – the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
- Worldwide cases have reached 11.23 million while 6.04 million patients have recovered, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally. The number of deaths worldwide have totalled more than 530,000.
Here are the latest updates.
Sunday, July 5
19:50 GMT – Chile announces new stimulus package
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced a new $1.5bn package of measures to help keep the country’s ailing middle class afloat as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the economy.
The measures include access to zero-interest loans, subsidised rent and the ability to defer mortgage loan payments for up to six months, Pinera said in a televised speech.
“The coronavirus pandemic … is hitting our middle class hard,” Pinera said, touting the fresh round of stimulus as a bailout at least one million families.
Pinera’s centre-right administration has already announced two sprawling stimulus packages worth nearly 12 percent of gross domestic product, aimed primarily at protecting small businesses, the poor and the unemployed.
19:00 GMT – Malawi cancels Independence Day celebrations over virus spike
Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera has called off planned Independence Day celebrations and drastically scaled back on his inauguration ceremony following a spike in coronavirus infections.
His formal inauguration had been slated for Monday at a giant stadium in the capital to coincide with the country’s 56th independence day celebrations.
But in an address on Sunday, the president called off the stadium festivities and shifted his inauguration event to a military barracks to be witnessed by only 100 specially-invited guests.
Malawi, which has not been placed under a lockdown, has registered 1,613 cases so far with seven percent of those infections detected in the last 24-hour reporting cycle.
At least 64 percent of the new infections were from community transmission.
“In view of this acceleration rate of local transmission and its wide geographical spread I have decided to cancel the celebration,” said Chakwera in a brief address to the nation.
18:10 GMT – Taj Mahal remains shut as India reports record daily cases
India’s top tourist attraction, the Taj Mahal, will remain shut, officials said, as the country registered a record daily number of coronavirus cases.
The health ministry reported just under 25,000 cases and 613 deaths in 24 hours – the biggest daily spike since the first case was detected in late January.
The surge took India’s total tally to more than 673,000 cases and 19,268 deaths, pulling the country closer to surpassing badly-hit Russia, the world’s third-most infected nation.
The jump in infections came as local authorities in northern Agra city said the Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, would remain closed to visitors even though the national government said it had permission to reopen on Monday.
“The Taj Mahal, which is in the Taj Ganj police station jurisdiction, is a ‘containment zone’,” a document released by Agra’s District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh stated late Sunday.
Containment zones are where high infection rates have been detected, with all activity except essential services halted.
17:35 GMT – Can the coronavirus help save the planet?
Planet Earth caught a break with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under lockdown, nobody was driving, flying or manufacturing. Carbon emissions nosedived.
But as the global economy chugs back to life, can we bring back the economy without killing the planet?
Start Here looks at what it will take.
17:00 GMT – UK coronavirus confirmed death toll rises by 22 to 44,220
The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen by 22 to 44,220, the department of health said on Sunday.
The number of deaths registered at the weekend is often lower than during the week. Including deaths from suspected cases, the toll is over 54,000, according to a Reuters tally.
16:30 GMT – El Salvador delays next steps in reopening economy as cases rise
El Salvador has postponed the second phase of the economy’s reopening by two weeks, citing a still-rising number of coronavirus infections.
President Nayib Bukele has imposed some of the toughest measures in the Americas against the pandemic, which has caused 217 deaths and 7,777 infections in the Central American country.
On June 16, El Salvador began a gradual process to bring back the economy, outlining a second phase that would allow public transportation, business services, manufacturers and the shoe, bag, box and paper industries to reopen.
That phase was due to begin on July 7 but has now been delayed until July 21, after the government said infections rose by 50 percent and deaths increased by 80 percent.
“Faced with these critical situations, we see an unfavorable outlook for proceeding with Phase Two of the Economic Reopening Plan,” the government said in a statement on Sunday.
16:00 GMT – Ecuador indigenous group frees hostages after return of corpse
An Indigenous group in the Ecuadorean Amazon has released six hostages after authorities returned the body of a leader who according to the government died of COVID-19, police said.
Members of the Shuar Kumay community last week took two police officers, two soldiers, one public official and one civilian hostage to demand the right to give their leader, Alberto Mashutak, a traditional burial.
The group insisted that Mashutak, who died in a hospital in late May, did not die of the novel coronavirus.
“The body of the indigenous leader was delivered to his community,” the police said in a statement, adding that authorities took special health protocols during the exhumation process to prevent possible COVID-19 spread.
15:30 GMT – Kazakhstan imposes new restrictions as coronavirus surges
Kazakhstan has imposed a second round of nationwide restrictions to counter a huge surge in coronavirus cases.
Shopping centres, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and beauty salons have all closed down for the next two weeks, a measure that authorities may choose to extend.
Kazakhstan imposed a strict lockdown in late March that saw important sectors of the economy grind to a halt and prevented most travel.
But it was one of the first Central Asian countries to lift restrictions in late May, when it had less than 9,000 confirmed cases.
Since then, however, coronavirus cases have risen more than five-fold, reaching over 47,000 with 188 deaths.
14:30 GMT – Coronavirus cases in Czech mining area under control: Minister
A rise in new coronavirus infections in a Czech coal mining region that has driven a recent jump in overall cases is under control and should ease soon, the health minister said amid criticism.
State hard coal miner OKD last week closed its mines in the Karvina area in the country’s east, along the Polish border, after a jump in cases among miners and their close contacts.
The rise has caused overall case numbers to accelerate, prompting some other EU members like Slovenia to bump the Czech Republic from their list of safe countries.
Responding to criticism from an opposition leader, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Twitter: “The situation is under control and in the coming days we expect another drop in cases if everyone (infected) will maintain a quarantine and (abide by) set rules.”
14:00 GMT – Greece shuts border to Serbians after virus spike
Greece has announced the closure of its frontier for Serbian nationals until July 15 because of a coronavirus spike.
Serbia declared a state of emergency on Friday in the capital Belgrade because of the highest rise of coronavirus cases since April.
Greece had made its decision after analysing the epidemiological data, said government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni.
13:25 GMT – Philippines records highest single-day jump in new cases
The Philippines has reported its biggest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases, 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 deaths to 1,297.
11:47 GMT – Fresh Spanish virus outbreak sees 70,000 locked down
Spain’s northwestern Galicia region has ordered the lockdown of 70,000 people amid fears of a fresh coronavirus outbreak, following a larger one in the northeast.
All residents of the town of La Marina, 140 kilometres (90 miles) east of La Coruna, will be unable to leave the vicinity and gatherings of more than ten people will be banned to limit the possibility of contagion.
The move came only a day after regional officials put 200,000 people back in confinement following a “sharp rise” in infections near the northeastern town of Lerida some 150 kilometres (90 miles) west of Catalan regional capital Barcelona.
11:25 GMT – US diplomats leaving Saudi as coronavirus cases surge: Report
As countries around the world prepare to battle a looming second wave of coronavirus infections, many United States diplomats are following hundreds of US citizens repatriated over the past few months.
Dozens of US diplomats, along with their families, have left Saudi Arabia in the past 48 hours as the kingdom struggles to contain the outbreak, just weeks after it reopened its economy, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Friday.
Read more here.
11:02 GMT – Morocco reports record number of novel coronavirus cases
Morocco has reported 698 additional novel coronavirus infections, the highest one-day increase since the outbreak began in early March, with numerous cases discovered in a port city factory.
The new figures bring the official total in the North African kingdom to 14,132 infections and 234 deaths, according to the health ministry.
The majority of the new infections were detected in a fish canning factory in the southern port city of Safi.
10:42 GMT – Ireland to ease foreign travel restrictions from July 20
Ireland is to ease quarantine restrictions on people travelling from abroad on July 20, with people from a “green list” of countries with low COVID-19 rates to be exempt from isolating themselves for 14 days, transport minister Eamon Ryan said.
Former prime minister Leo Varadkar in June said that the restrictions would be eased from July 9.
“A so-called green list… will be published on July 20,” Ryan said in an interview with Newstalk radio station.
10:17 GMT – Madagascar re-imposes lockdown amid surge in virus cases
Madagascar has placed its capital Antananarivo under a fresh lockdown following a new surge in coronavirus infections, two months after the restrictions were eased, the presidency announced.
“The Analamanga region (under which the capital is situated) is returning to full lockdown,” the presidency said in a statement.
No traffic will be allowed in or out of the region starting Monday until July 20.
10:38 GMT – South Africa reports over 10,000 cases in one day
South Africa has reported more than 10,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases for the first time in a single day.
That brings the country’s total confirmed cases to more than 187,977, by far the most of any country in Africa.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus in South Africa has surpassed the 3,000 mark.
10:12 GMT – Iran reports new record one-day virus death toll of 163: official
Iranian health authorities have announced 163 new deaths due to the COVID-19 disease, the country’s highest official one-day death 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.
09:45 GMT – Top Egyptian actor Ragaa al-Gedawy dies from COVID-19
Famed Egyptian actor Ragaa al-Gedawy has died after contracting the COVID-19 disease, the actors union said. She was 81.
“Ragaa al-Gedawy passed away this morning due to COVID-19,” union head Ashraf Zaki told AFP news agency.
“No public funeral was arranged for health reasons,” Zaki added.
Read more here.
09:20 GMT – Coronavirus cases rising in Saudi Arabia, UAE after curfews lifted
Saudi Arabia’s coronavirus infections have surpassed 200,000 and neighbouring 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.
08:55 GMT – Indonesia reports highest daily tally of coronavirus deaths
Indonesia has reported 82 new coronavirus deaths in its highest daily tally, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said, taking the toll to 3,171.
Infections rose 1,607, for a total of 63,749 cases, he added.
08:35 GMT – Health minister says pleased with behaviour after English pubs reopen
People in England appear to have broadly behaved themselves as pubs reopened this weekend, the UK’s health minister Matt Hancock said, adding he was pleased with how the easing of lockdown had gone.
“From what I’ve seen, although there’s some pictures to the contrary, very, very largely people have acted responsibly,” he told Sky News. “Overall, I’m pleased with what happened yesterday.”
08:10 GMT – Israel, Palestinians face new restrictions amid virus surge
Israel has ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance programme resumed as Palestinians in the West Bank returned to life under lockdown after both areas saw surges in coronavirus cases.
A statement from Israel’s Health Ministry said “many” messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday.
“We wanted to continue and open the economy as much as possible but with the amount of infections, which appeared like a very high cliff, it forced us at this point to get involved more aggressively,” Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, told Israeli Army Radio.
07:46 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 680,000
Russia has 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.
07:24 GMT – Tokyo governor favoured to win re-election for handling virus
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is poised to be re-elected, buoyed by public support for her coronavirus handling despite a recent rise in infections that has raised concerns of a resurgence of the disease.
The first woman to head the Japanese capital, Koike, 67, is also viewed as a potential candidate to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when his term ends in September 2021. For now, she says she is focused on protecting the lives of the 14 million people in Tokyo, a megacity with a $1 trillion economy.
07:01 GMT – WHO reports highest single-day surge in infections
The WHO says member states reported more than 212,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the global body, the highest single-day increase since the start of the pandemic.
The Geneva-based WHO said the highest number of new infections was reported from the Americas region, which includes the United States and Brazil, with almost 130,000 confirmed cases.
The WHO’s count can differ from other global case tallies due to official reporting delays.
06:37 GMT – Nearly 25,000 virus cases in India in record daily jump
India has seen its biggest surge in COVID-19 cases, with 24,850 new cases and 613 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The country’s tally of infections rose to 673,165 as the death toll increased to 19,268, according to health ministry data.
06:10 GMT – Turkish Airlines resumes flights to Indonesia
Turkey’s flag carrier has resumed flights to Indonesia after being suspended on March 20 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkish Airlines will resume routes to Indonesia with two flights per week.
05:43 GMT – Croatia votes for new government as pandemic looms
Croatians went to polls to choose a government to navigate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in a general election campaign that has been dominated by the health crisis.
The pandemic has put the European Union country’s tourism-dependent economy on course for a contraction of nearly 10 percent – its steepest decline in decades.
The ruling conservative HDZ party has been touting its relative success in containing Croatia’s outbreak so far, with an official tally of roughly 100 deaths and 3,000 infections.
Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Ted Regencia.
04:56 GMT – Bolivia struggles to contain coronavirus
The rising toll of COVID-19 deaths is overwhelming the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, where desperate relatives of one apparent victim of the new coronavirus left his coffin in the street for several hours to protest against difficulties in getting him buried.
Neighbour Remberto Arnez said the 62-year-old man had died on June 28 and his body had been in his home ever since “but that’s risky because of the possible contagion”.
After a few hours, funeral workers showed up and took the coffin to a cemetery in the city of some 630,000 people.
The Andean nation has reported more than 36,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,320 deaths.
04:28 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state reports 74 new cases
The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria has recorded 74 new coronavirus cases on Sunday after announcing a record 108 new infections a day earlier.
The latest increase resulted in state Premier Daniel Andrews announcing a lockdown of nine inner-city public housing blocks containing 3,000 people, where 27 cases have been detected.
Police are guarding every entrance of the housing estates and residents are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason. Australia had more than 8,400 cases and 104 deaths as of Sunday.
03:44 GMT – Republican politician’s wife, running-mate possibly exposed to COVID-19
The Associated Press news agency is quoting a Montana newspaper as reporting that the wife and the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte, as well as several other top Republican officials, were possibly exposed to the coronavirus while attending an event with the girlfriend of United States President Donald Trump’s eldest son.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle says Gianforte’s wife, Susan, and lieutenant governor candidate Kristen Juras were at a Trump fundraising event Wednesday with Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr.
The New York Times reports that Guilfoyle was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Friday. Greg Gianforte is a congressman from Montana. He did not attend the event.
03:14 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 239 to 196,335
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 239 to 196,335, Reuters reported on Sunday citing data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,012, the tally showed.
02:25 GMT – Singapore reports eight new ‘unlinked’ cases
Singapore’s The Straits Times reported early on Sunday that an 82-year-old Singaporean woman is among eight new unlinked community cases that were announced the previous day.
The woman was confirmed to have the virus on Saturday after showing symptoms last Wednesday.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed 185 new coronavirus cases in Singapore on Saturday, bringing the total to 44,664. Of the 185 new cases, eight were reported with no known previous links to an infected person, including the 82-year-old woman.
Singapore has managed to keep its death toll low at 26.
02:03 GMT – South Korea reports 61 new cases
South Korea’s daily new virus cases stayed above 60 for the third consecutive day Sunday as infections outside the Seoul metropolitan area continued to swell, Yonhap news agency reported.
The country added 61 cases, including 43 local infections, raising the total caseload to 13,091, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). At least 18 of the cases were imported.
The country, however, reported no additional deaths, with the death toll staying at 283.
01:23 GMT – China reports eight new active cases, seven asymptomatic patients
China reported eight new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 4, compared with three cases a day earlier, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday, quoting the health agency.
Six of the new infections were imported cases, according to a statement by the National Health Commission, while the capital Beijing reported two new cases. There were no new deaths.
China reported seven new asymptomatic patients, up from four a day earlier.
As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,553 confirmed coronavirus cases, the health authority said. China’s death toll from the COVID-19 remained at 4,634, unchanged since Mid-May.
00:29 GMT – Mexico’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 30,000
Mexico’s health ministry has reported 523 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 30,366, and 6,014 new infections, bringing the total to 252,165.
The government has previously said the actual number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the number of confirmed cases.
Citing unpublished figures from the country’s civil registry, broadcaster Milenio reported that as of June 19, nearly twice as many people had died from the coronavirus than were reported by Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell. Reuters news agency was unable to verify the information.
00:05 GMT – Ghana’s president self-isolates after close contact with infected person
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for the coronavirus, Reuters news agency reported, quoting a government statement.
“He has, as at today, tested negative, but has elected to take this measure out of the abundance of caution,” the statement said, adding that the president will continue to work during the period, in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
The statement did not say if the close person was a staff or family member.
Ghana has recorded 19,388 coronavirus cases, one of the highest number of cases in sub-Saharan Africa, with 117 deaths.
The West African nation’s deputy trade and industry minister, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, resigned on Friday after violating coronavirus self-isolation measures following a positive test for the virus.
00:01 GMT – Brazil registers 37,923 new cases of coronavirus, 1,091 deaths
Brazil has recorded 37,923 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 1,091 deaths, Reuters news agency reported, quoting the country’s health ministry.
Brazil has registered more than 1.5 million cases since the pandemic began, while cumulative deaths total 64,265, according to the ministry.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
You can find all the latest developments from yesterday, July 4, here.
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