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US sets new one-day record for coronavirus cases: Live updates | News

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  • United States health officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus. That’s nearly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed.
  • The pandemic is getting worse globally, with the number of infections expected to reach 10 million next week, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.
  • More than 9.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while nearly 4.8 million have recovered, and more than 489,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, June 26

09:35 GMT – Record rise in virus cases as Ukraine warns of ‘serious wave’

Ukraine reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be re-imposed if people continued to flout restrictions.




Pandemic hits Ukraine’s surrogate birthing industry

Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine’s total to more than 41,000.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly complained that people are ignoring social distancing and other safety rules after anti-virus restrictions were eased last month.

09:00 – GMT – Indonesia reports 1,240 new coronavirus cases

Indonesia reported 1,240 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 51,427.

There were 63 more deaths recorded, with total fatalities now at 2,683, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Indonesia is the highest in East Asia outside of China.

08:15 GMT – Vietnam PM warns of economic calamity at ASEAN summit

Vietnam warned the virus pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as Southeast Asian leaders met online for a summit also dominated by anxiety over Beijing’s moves in the flashpoint South China Sea.

“It has swept away the successes of recent years… threatening the lives of millions of people,” Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a sobering opening address.

The 36th ASEAN summit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) addresses The 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit video conference [Reuters]

He emphasised the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among ASEAN’S members.

ASEAN General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi confirmed the bleak outlook, warning the region’s economy is expected to contract for the first time in 22 years.

08:12 GMT – Russia reports lowest daily rise in cases since late April

Russia on Friday reported 6,800 new coronavirus cases, the first daily rise below 7,000 since late April, taking its nationwide tally to 620,794.

The country’s coronavirus response centre said 176 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 8,781.

07:50 GMT – How the coronavirus crisis exposes India’s social inequalities

Under India’s healthcare system, everyone should be able to receive either free or highly subsidised care at those public hospitals depending on their income.

But the system has been chronically underfunded, meaning government hospitals are overburdened and patients often face days-long waits for even basic treatments.

Read more here

06:53 GMT – Australia gets second wave of toilet paper hoarding

Australia’s supermarket chains reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper and other household items as a spike in coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria set off a fresh round of panic-buying over fears of a new stay-at-home order.




Panic buying over coronavirus fears

Woolworths Group Ltd and Coles Group Ltd, which together account for two-thirds of Australian grocery sales, said they were once again limiting purchases of toilet paper and paper towels to one or two packs per person after photos circulated on social media showing empty shelves in stores.

With only 7,500 cases in total and 104 deaths, Australia has been easing restrictions on movement, but a string of double-digit increases in cases in the second-most populous state, Victoria, led to a pause in the reopening there – and prompted shoppers to hoard.

06:44 GMT – Pakistan’s coronavirus testing continue to fall

Testing has continued to fall in Pakistan, one of the country’s with the fastest rates of growth of the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Pakistan tested 21,041 patients, of whom 2,775 tested positive, a test-positive rate of 13 percent. Pakistan’s countrywide tally of cases rose to 195,745 cases on Thursday, with 59 deaths taking the death toll to 4,037.

Sindh and Punjab provinces, the country’s two most populous regions, appear to be the main areas where testing has dropped, according to government data.

Testing in Sindh has roughly halved over the course of this week to 6,458 tests, while in Punjab testing remains at a level more than 2,000 tests below its peak. 

05:49 GMT – Millions of Yemeni children ‘may starve amid pandemic’

Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the UN children’s agency warned.

The stark prediction comes in a new UNICEF report, “Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19.” It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20 percent increase in the current figure.

“As Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably,” UNICEF warned.

“If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF’s representative to Yemen. “The international community will be sending a message that the lives of children … simply do not matter.”




Cemeteries overflow in Aden as COVID-19 deaths spike in Yemen (2:45)

05:40 GMT – Severe COVID-19 can damage the brain, preliminary study finds

A preliminary study of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases.

The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of COVID-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments.

“This (is) an important snapshot of the brain-related complications of COVID-19 in hospitalised patients. It is critically important that we continue to collect this information to really understand this virus fully,” said Sarah Pett, a University College London professor who co-led the work.

The study looked in detail at 125 cases from across the UK.

05:28 GMT – India’s cases spike again to near half-million

India neared half a million coronavirus cases on Friday, recording its biggest 24-hour spike with 17,296 new infections.

The cases took India’s total to 490,401. The health ministry also reported another 407 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities up to 15,301.

Indian Railways was due to resume regular train services on June 30 but said on Thursday that services would not fully resume until August 12. Special trains linking main cities have been running since mid-May as part of the easing of the lockdown.

Protest demanding better treatment for people infected with COVID-19 in Kolkata

Supporters of the Congress party wearing protective gear attend a protest demanding better treatment for people infected with the coronavirus and other patients in the state government-run hospitals in Kolkata, India, on June 25, 2020 [Rupak De Chowdhuri/ Reuters]

05:19 GMT – Vietnam warns of economic calamity at ASEAN summit

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as Southeast Asian leaders met online to discuss a regional emergency fund to tackle the crisis.

In a sobering opening address, Phuc emphasised the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among ASEAN’S members, saying: “It has swept away the successes of recent years … threatening the lives of millions of people.”

A high-priority project for Friday’s summit is the establishment of an ASEAN “COVID-19 response fund,” which could be used to help member states purchase medical supplies and protective suits. Thailand has pledged to contribute $100,000.

The 36th ASEAN summit

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses The 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit video conference [Luong Thai Linh/Pool via Reuters]

04:16 GMT – China posts a further decline in infections

China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases.

Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control.

The other two cases were brought by Chinese travellers from overseas, according to the National Health Council.

03:39 GMT – US sets one-day record for COVID-19 cases

The number of US coronavirus infections rose by at least 39,818 cases at the end of Thursday, according to a Reuters news agency tally, marking the biggest daily increase in the country since the start of the pandemic.

Several states across the US have reported record rises in cases this week, including Texas, Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

More than 36,000 new cases were recorded nationwide on Wednesday, a few hundred shy of the record 36,426 on April 24.

Texas coronavirus

Tubers prepare to float the Comal River in Texas despite a recent spike in COVID-19 cases [Eric Gay/ AP]

02:55 GMT – US sent $1.4bn in relief payments to dead people

Nearly 1.1 million coronavirus relief payments totalling some $1.4bn went to dead people in the United States, according to a new government watchdog study.

The finding came in a Government Accountability Office report that reviewed payments from a $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package enacted in March. The erroneous payments were made because of confusion over whether dead people should receive payments, the report said.

While the government has asked survivors to return the money, it is not clear whether they have to.

01:47 GMT – Mexico passes 25,000 coronavirus deaths

Mexico pushed past 25,000 reported coronavirus deaths and 200,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, as the finance minister said he tested positive and would self-isolate while working from home.

The Health Department reported 6,104 newly confirmed infections, one of the highest 24-hour counts so far. That brought the country’s confirmed cases to 202,951. Deaths increased by 736, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 25,060.

Mexico’s Finance Ministry said it has initiated epidemiological contact tracing after Finance Minister Arturo Herrera tested positive for the coronavirus.

Herrera said he had only “minor symptoms”.

Mexico coronavirus

Sabina Hernandez Bautista, 59, prepares food in a stall inside Mexico City’s Mercado de San Cosme, where some vendors have put in place their own protective measures against coronavirus while others continue to work without masks or barriers [Rebecca Blackwell/ AP]

01:33 GMT – Nike posts quarterly loss after store closures

Nike lost $790m in the fourth quarter, with soaring digital sales failing to make up for the loss of revenue from shuttered stores in most of the world.

The world’s largest sports apparel maker said its revenue fell 38 percent to $6.31bn in the three-month period ending May 31.

Nike said 90 percent of its stores in North America, Europe and Latin America were closed during the period because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sales fell 46 percent in both North America and Europe, but just 3 percent in China as stores reopened there.

01:25 GMT – WHO warns of ‘very significant’ resurgence in Europe

Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, the World Health Organization regional director for Europe, expressed concern over a resurgence of coronavirus infections on the continent, saying that last week that Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.

“Some 30 countries have seen increases in new cumulative cases over the past two weeks,” he said in a statement. “In 11 of these countries, accelerated transmission has led to very significant resurgence that if left unchecked will push health systems to the brink once again in Europe.”

The WHO later identified the 11 countries and territories as Armenia, Sweden, Moldova, North Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Kosovo.




Queues ramp up at Mexican food banks as COVID hits the poor (2:23)

00:20 GMT – Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’    

Fewer than one in a hundred children who test positive for COVID-19 end up dying, though a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, according to a new Europe-wide study.

A team of researchers led by experts in the United Kingdom, Austria and Spain looked at the outcomes of 582 children under age 18 who were infected with the new coronavirus, and found more than 60 percent required hospital treatment and 8 percent needed intensive care.

Only four died.

On the other hand, more than 90 children, or 16 percent, showed no symptoms at all.

Marc Tebruegge, from University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said that while the results should not be extrapolated for the general population, they were nevertheless reassuring.

“The case fatality cohort was very low and it is likely to be substantially lower still, given many children with mild disease would not have been brought to medical attention and therefore not included in this study,” he said.

“Overall, the vast majority of children and young people experience only mild disease,” added Tebruegge, lead author of the study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

“Nevertheless, a notable number of children do develop severe disease and require intensive care support,” said Tebruegge, “and this should be accounted for when planning and prioritising healthcare resources as the pandemic progresses.”


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.

You can find all the key developments from yesterday, June 25, here. 

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COVID: How has the UK managed to master the vaccine roll-out? | Coronavirus pandemic News

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London, United Kingdom – When Ayesha Sharieff, a general practitioner in a south London surgery, administered the first COVID vaccines to her patients earlier this month, she was overjoyed.

“It was the best afternoon I’ve spent for a long time,” said Sharieff, who has been a doctor for 20 years. “After all these tough times we’ve been through recently, it was such a pleasure. I wanted to jump on top of my car and honk the horn.”

Each day, Sharieff and her team vaccinate up to 300 patients, currently focusing on elderly people from the area’s diverse urban population as a priority, as part of the United Kingdom’s rapid vaccine roll-out.

“I recently vaccinated a Caribbean nurse working in infectious diseases who must have been 88,” said Sharieff. “It just felt like such an honour to be doing that for her. I had tears in my eyes.”

The UK has earned cautious early praise for its vaccine roll-out, which has seen it produce double the number of vaccinations per person per day of any other European country.

This marks a significant turnaround because with the highest COVID-19 death toll in Europe, the UK government faces high levels of criticism for failing to contain the virus.

The UK became the first Western country to license a COVID-19 vaccine on December 2 when the medicines regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech jab [File: Phil Noble/Reuters]

More than six million people in the UK have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to date, as part of the largest vaccination programme in British history. The National Health Service (NHS) has vaccinated more than half of those aged 80 and over and more than half of elderly care home residents, both considered priorities, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Once those priorities have been treated, the UK will offer the vaccine to everyone over 50 and then everyone aged over 18.

‘Flexible, scalable system’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has said it plans to offer a first dose of vaccine to every adult in Britain, who make up 51 million of its total 67.5 million population, by September.

It will soon begin a trial of 24-hour injections as it continues to add more vaccination sites to increase the pace of delivery.

Good logistics planning and significant financial investment have underpinned the early positive vaccination numbers, according to Sarah Schiffling, a supply chains expert at Liverpool John Moores University.

“We can’t underestimate the fact the UK is devoting nearly £12 billion to the purchase, manufacture and roll-out of the vaccine,” she told Al Jazeera. “But the UK is seeing the benefit of having a coordinated approach. It’s started out really well and gotten up to quite a volume of patients vaccinated very quickly and that is very promising.”

Schiffling believes the centralised nature of the NHS as well the UK’s “far-reaching delivery network” – which spans from local GPs to mass vaccination centres – has also played a key role. “It’s a flexible, scalable system and that’s been working really well so far,” she explained.

The NHS, unlike some countries that have a federal approach, has departments already in place for bulk purchasing, says Schiffling, and the UK invested quickly into materials such as syringes that are now in high demand.

“One system can work along the supply chain, and that’s worked to the UK’s advantage here,” she said.

UK adopts first dose strategy

The UK became the first Western country to license a COVID-19 vaccine on December 2 when the medicines regulator approved the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. Since then, it has also approved vaccines produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna, but doses of the latter are not expected for months.

But unlike other nations, the UK has decided to increase the time between vaccine doses given to people from 21 days to up to 12 weeks, a decision that is thought to mean more people will get their first dose more quickly.

“The UK has prioritised getting people the first doses,” said Mark Jit, a professor of vaccine epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “This has enabled more people to be vaccinated quickly. From what we know about vaccines, the first dose gives quite good protection, especially with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. It’s not that the second dose will be dropped entirely.”

Professor Jit says the UK’s history of previous successful campaigns has also helped the rapid roll-out.

“The UK has an advantage because it has a long history of successful vaccine introductions,” he said, pointing to the introduction of the Shingles vaccine to adults in 2013, the HPV vaccine for adolescents in 2008 and national flu campaigns. “Part of it is also good communication, so there is good public confidence in vaccines.”

Johnson poses for a photograph with a vial of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 candidate vaccine in Wrexham, Wales, on November 30, 2020 [File: Paul Ellis/Pool via Reuters]

But Jit added that while success in the UK’s vaccine roll-out is good news, the issue will persist while all countries still need vaccine supplies.

“This is a global issue and the pandemic won’t be solved until we address those worldwide concerns,” he said.

With England in a third national lockdown since January 2 after a highly transmissible variant helped push the number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 to record highs, for some, vaccination can’t come any sooner.

The UK is now rapidly approaching 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths, marking the worst death toll in Europe and the fifth-highest number worldwide, and some 50,000 health workers are off work due to COVID-19 infections and exposure quarantines.

“This vaccine roll-out has been one of the most uplifting things in my career,” said Sharieff, the GP. “But as it continues we will have to vaccinate larger, more diverse patient groups. We need to make sure everyone is protected equally.”



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