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Worldwide coronavirus death toll surpasses 600,000: Live updates | Coronavirus pandemic News



  • The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has hit 601,213, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has hit 14.2 million, while more than 7.9 million people have recovered. 
  • US deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 140,000 on Saturday as cases continued to rise in 43 out of 50 states over the past two weeks, according to both Johns Hopkins University and Reuters tallies. The number of cases in the US has also hit 3.7 million, with 1.1 million recoveries.
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has denounced the lockdown measures used to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in his country, saying these measures will “kill” and have “suffocated” the nation’s economy. Brazil’s economy is expected to contract 6.4 percent this year due to the pandemic.

Here are the latest updates.

Sunday, July 19

04:37 GMT – Albania reports 4,008 total coronavirus cases, 111 total deaths


In the last month, daily numbers of new cases have ranged from 50 to 120, at least double compared to the March-May period when the country was in a total lockdown [File: Gent Onuzi/AP]

Albania has reported 4,008 confirmed coronavirus cases and 111 total deaths since the pandemic began in the country.

In the last month, daily numbers of new cases have ranged from 50 to 120, at least double compared to the March-May period when the country was in a total lockdown.

Health ministry officials say people must wear masks, keep socially distant and wash hands. Masks are mandatory in closed areas and individuals may receive a small fine for not wearing them in public or private places.

Health officials are checking businesses, cafes and restaurants, handing out larger fines for noncompliance.

Doctors are warning that relaxed measures may result in higher numbers in the upcoming months.

Albania has opened its tourist areas. Most tourists are from neighboring Kosovo, which is experiencing an increase in coronavirus numbers.

04:12 GMT – Australia’s Victoria requires masks for Melbourne hit by COVID-19

People in Melbourne must now wear masks when leaving their homes as Victoria, Australia’s second most-populous state, marked two weeks of triple-digit increases in new coronavirus infections on Sunday.

Melbournians not wearing face coverings will be fined A$200 ($140), said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

Victoria, which has forced nearly 5 million people into a partial six-week lockdown on July 9, reported 363 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, after 217 cases the previous day.

Australia has recorded about 11,800 coronavirus cases, a fraction of what has been seen in other countries or even some US states, but an outbreak of community transmission in Victoria has been growing, prompting authorities to impose stricter social distancing measures.

03:47 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 202 to 201,574

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 202 to 201,574, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll rose by 1 to 9,084, the tally showed.

03:28 GMT – Brazil reports 28,532 news cases, 921 new deaths

Brazil on Saturday reported 28,532 new COVID-19 cases and 921 new deaths over the last 24 hours, Reuters news agency reported quoting Brazil’s health ministry.

The total cases in the country have mounted to 2,074,860 while 78,722 people have died of COVID-19.

Brazil, the world’s second most affected country after the US, have started to resume business in many areas despite mounting cases.

Its economic activity index in May rose for the first time since the coronavirus broke out, growing by 1.31 percent from April, according to the Central Bank of Brazil on July 14. The bank also said the economy will contract less than expected in 2020, adjusting forecast from -6.5 to -6.1 percent.

03:00 GMT – US coronavirus deaths surpass 140,000 as outbreak worsens

US deaths - 140,000

Despite repeated warnings about the spread of the coronavirus, people in Miami, Florida continue to go to the beach on Saturday, many of whom defying advice to wear mask [Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA]

US deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 140,000 on Saturday as cases continued to rise in 43 out of 50 states over the past two weeks, according to both Johns Hopkins University and Reuters tallies.

Since late June, the US has seen a resurgence in new cases and now, six weeks later, deaths have also begun rising, according to a weekly Reuters analysis of state and county data.

America is losing about 5,000 people to the virus every week. By contrast, neighboring Canada has reported total deaths of 8,800 since the pandemic started.

In just one week, the United States records about as many deaths as the 5,600 lives Sweden has lost since the pandemic began earlier this year.

02:48 GMT – China reports 13 new coronavirus cases

China on Sunday said another 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in the northwestern city of Urumqi, raising the total in the country’s most recent local outbreak to at least 30, AP news agency reported.

An additional three cases were brought into the country from overseas, increasing China’s total number of confirmed cases to 83,660 with 4,634 reported deaths.

Despite the Urumqi outbreak, China has just 251 people remaining in treatment for COVID-19, according to the National Health Commission.

Another 151 people were being monitored in isolation for showing signs of having the virus or for testing positive without showing symptoms. At least 23 of those asymptomatic cases were in Urumqi, although China does not include those in the numbers of confirmed cases.

02:28 GMT – Local transmissions outpace imported cases in South Korea

South Korea

As of Sunday, South Korea has seen double-digit figures of imported cases for 24 consecutive days [Ahn Young-joon/AP]

South Korea’s new daily virus cases hovered below 40 for the second straight day on Sunday, but the number of local transmissions outpaced that of imported cases for the first time in over a week, according to Yonhap news agency.

The country identified 34 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,745. Of the newly reported cases, 21 were locally transmitted, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The latest tally marks a steady decline from 61 new infections reported Thursday and 60 on Friday, largely due to high numbers of imported cases.

As of Sunday, South Korea has seen double-digit figures of imported cases for 24 consecutive days.

The country’s death toll came to 295, with one more virus-caused death reported, according to the KCDC.

01:43 GMT – Barcelona limits access to public beaches amid COVID-19 resurgence

Police in Barcelona are limiting access to some of the city’s beaches because sunbathers are ignoring regulations amid a resurgence of the coronavirus.

Catalan health authorities reported over 1,200 new cases on Saturday from the preceding 24 hours. The new outbreaks have forced regional officials to announce the prohibition of gatherings of over 10 people that went into effect Saturday.

Barcelona and other areas of the surrounding northeast Catalonia region have experienced the largest outbreaks in Spain since the European country ended a strict three-month nationwide lockdown.

The mandatory use of face masks is rapidly spreading across Spain as officials grapple with more than 180 active outbreaks, most in Catalonia and neighbouring Aragon regions.

The coronavirus has resulted in at least 28,000 confirmed deaths in Spain.

01:15 GMT – Greece reports 19 new coronavirus cases

Greek authorities announced 19 new cases of coronavirus and no new deaths over the past 24 hours, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Total confirmed cases in Greece since the outbreak of the epidemic are 3,983, with 194 deaths.

Despite the relatively low number of cases, authorities are concerned about increasing evidence that social distancing guidelines are not being followed. On Saturday, they extended the requirement to wear masks to supermarket customers – and they are considering expanding the mask requirement further.

Athens, Greece

Actors and singers perform at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece, after the site was reopened for performances on Wednesday, with the ancient Parthenon temple in the background [Petros Giannakouris/AP]

00:55 GMT – South Africa now ranks fifth in coronavirus cases worldwide

South Africa now ranks fifth in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases as the African continent faces the pandemic’s first wave head-on, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

South Africa on Saturday reported 13,285 new confirmed cases for a total of 350,879. That puts the country ahead of Peru, and accounts for roughly half the cases in Africa.

Gauteng province, home to Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, is now Africa’s epicentre for the virus. It has one-quarter of the country’s population and many of the poor are crowded in township areas with inadequate access to clean water and sanitation.

South Africa has seen 4,948 reported virus deaths, but the South African Medical Research Council in its most recent report shows the country had 10,944 “excess deaths” between May 6 and July 7.

00:18 GMT – Mexico reports 7,615 new cases of coronavirus, 578 more deaths

Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 7,615 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 578 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 338,913 cases and 38,888 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, according to Reuters news agency.

00:01 GMT – EU extends summit to Sunday after deadlock over COVID recovery plan

Leaders of the European Union have extended until Sunday their summit after failing to agree on a massive stimulus fund to revive their coronavirus-hammered economies after two days of fraught negotiations, Reuters news agency reported.

As the 27 leaders scurried back to their hotels after a late Saturday night, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron stayed behind in the EU’s headquarters in Brussels to haggle with the Dutch-led camp of thrifty countries demanding cuts to the 1.8 trillion euro ($2.06 trillion) package.

“The negotiations were heated,” said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, one of the EU countries most affected by the coronavirus crisis that are seeking generous aid from the bloc. “Europe is under the blackmail of the ‘frugals’.”

“We have to do all what is possible to reach a deal tomorrow,” Conte said. “Further delays are not useful to anybody.”


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 key developments from yesterday, July 18, here.

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Trapped China miners ask for rice porridge, sausages | China News



Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday as they race against time to extract the 22 workers.

Workers trapped in a Chinese gold mine for more than nine days have received more medical and food supplies, including bandages, blankets and rice porridge, but one of the group is in a critical condition with a severe head injury, state media said.

A total of 22 workers were left trapped in the Hushan mine, in Shandong province, after an explosion on January 10.

A week later, it emerged that at least 12 of them were still alive as a note retrieved from the mine said: “We hope the rescue won’t stop.”

A drilled channel on Sunday located 11 of the miners, who were working more than 600 metres (1,968 feet) underground and rescuers were subsequently able to speak to them via a wired telephone.

But the progress of the rescue has been slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday in an effort to extract the trapped miners [Stringer/AFP]

“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite … that is very hard, resulting in the slow progress of the rescue,” Chen told reporters.

“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may pose a danger to the trapped workers.”

Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.

‘Please speed up the rescue’

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official Weibo account, a Chinese version of Twitter.

More than 300 people are involved in the rescue effort and excavators and machinery are on site but the teams have warned it will be extremely difficult to bring out the miners from the tunnel’s entrance.

The official Xinhua news agency said the miners had requested on Monday evening sausage and pickles as well as porridge but medical experts decided they should not eat hard food having only just regained their strength.

Fortified by the food and medical supplies – the fourth consignment to reach the group – two workers who had previously been very weak were able to walk again on Tuesday, Xinhua reported, citing a member of the rescue team.

However, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily said one worker was in a coma and in a critical condition, after sustaining a head injury in the blast, while two were “mildly unwell” and eight in good health.

One more worker has been located in another section of the mine, while the whereabouts of the other 10 remain unknown.

News that some of the miners are still alive has boosted Chinese netizens’ hopes for a miraculous escape, with thousands leaving prayer messages on Weibo and calling on the authorities to “please speed up the rescue”.

China’s National Mine Safety Administration has ordered a comprehensive inspection of the country’s non-coal mines, which will continue until the end of March, the People’s Daily reported.

There are 32,000 non-coal mines in China, most of which are small, use outdated technology and equipment and have poor safety management, it said, citing an administration official.

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