Coronavirus: Germany sees highest number of new cases in over three months

World updates: Spanish areas ban public smoking; two test positive for second time in China

A view of a Covid-19 testing station set up at Hannover Airport in Germany. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

A view of a Covid-19 testing station set up at Hannover Airport in Germany. Photograph: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

 

More than 20.72 million people have now been reported to have been infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 749,629 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases in the Covid-19 pandemic were identified in China in December 2019.

Here are the latest updates on the pandemic from across the world:

Europe

Some 3.4 million people in England have been infected with Covid-19, a figure far higher than previous estimates, a new study suggests.

The results come from the world’s largest home-testing programme to find antibodies for the coronavirus, a study involving more than 100,000 volunteers and carried out by Imperial College London.

The British government is under increasing pressure to review its moderation and appeals system for exams after thousands of pupils’ A-level results in England were downgraded amid cancelled exams due to Covid-19.

Germany has recorded its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in more than three months. There were 1,319 new cases in Germany in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, the most since May 1st and bringing the country’s case total to 220,859, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Spain reported 2,935 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, the highest such number since the country’s lockdown ended and up from the 1,690 new cases recorded the previous day, when the Madrid region had failed to update its data due to technical reasons. The new data brought the country’s cumulative total number of cases to 337,334. Its death toll from the virus now stands at 28,605.

Various Spanish regions have reimposed some pandemic restrictions and even come up with new ones, such as a ban on smoking in public spaces in Galicia and the Canary Islands.

Greece reported on Thursday its second-highest daily number of new cases since the start of the pandemic, after hitting a record the previous day. The nation added 204 new cases, bringing the total to 6,381.

Italy’s health ministry has imposed mandatory coronavirus tests on travellers arriving from Spain, Croatia, Malta and Greece. The country also imposed a ban on entries or transit for travellers from Colombia.

New coronavirus cases in Romania reached a daily record of 1,454 on Thursday, bringing the total number of people infected with Covid-19 in the country to 66,631, according to government data. The country also reported 53 additional deaths related to the disease, the highest toll since the start of the pandemic.

The European Commission has said it’s seeking to secure 200 million doses of a vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, stepping up efforts to protect citizens against the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Russia reported 5,057 new coronavirus cases, bringing its nationwide tally to 907,758, the fourth-largest caseload in the world.

Americas

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell below 1 million for the first time since its outbreak began in March. Initial jobless claims in regular state programmes fell by 228,000 to 963,000 in the week ended August 8th, US labour department data showed on Thursday.

Some Arizona schools plan to restart in-person education on Monday in defiance of state benchmarks on when students and staff can safely return to classes.

Brazil’s Parana state has signed a deal with Moscow to produce a controversial Russian vaccine by late next year.

China

Two patients in China who recovered from Covid-19 months ago have tested positive for the disease again, raising concern about the coronavirus’s ability to linger and reappear in people who it previously infected.

A 68-year-old woman in the central Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus first surfaced in December, tested positive on Sunday, six months after she was diagnosed with Covid-19 and recovered.

Another man found to have contracted the disease in April after returning from abroad tested positive in Shanghai on Monday.The two cases are the latest additions to a growing number of “virus reactivation” anecdotes found among patients believed to have recovered from the viral infection. While rare, the phenomenon raises questions over whether any immunity to the disease might be too ephemeral to protect against reinfection.

Meanwhile, consumers in the Chinese city of Shenzhen have been urged to exercise caution when buying imported frozen food, after a surface sample of chicken wings from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the local government.

The positive sample appears to have been taken from the surface of the meat.

Rest of Asia and Oceania

Australia has posted its lowest one-day rise in new cases in more than three weeks, stoking hopes that a second wave of new infections gripping Victoria state is finally being brought under control.

Australian states and territories on Thursday reported just 292 new infections in the past 24 hours, down from 428 detected in the previous day and the lowest such figure since July 20th. The bulk of the new infections again came in Victoria, which detected 278 new infections in the previous 24 hours,

Meanwhile, New Zealand was scrambling to trace the source of its first outbreak in more than three months, as it reported 13 new community infections, all linked to cases in the cluster announced on Tuesday.

India’s Covid-19 death toll has grown to the fourth largest globally, as the disease’s spread continues to accelerate through the world’s second most populous country. India added 942 deaths from the novel coronavirus in 24 hours, overtaking the UK with a new total of 47,033 fatalities. It also recorded a record daily increase in new cases that brought its total number of confirmed cases to almost 2.4 million, the third largest caseload in the world.

Several Indian ministers in prime minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past few days, underscoring the spread of the disease in the country. At least 104 doctors in India died due to coronavirus infections, a study has found.

A Malaysian court jailed an Indian man for five months for violating a home quarantine order, leading to dozens of new infections, the Bernama state news agency reported.

The Philippines plans to launch clinical trials for a controversial Russian vaccine for Covid-19 in October, with president Rodrigo Duterte expected to be inoculated as early as May next year.

Middle East and Africa

Iran has recorded 174 additional deaths and 2,625 new cases to take its death toll to more than 19,000 and total confirmed cases to 336,324.

Jordan will close its land trade border crossing with Syria for a week after a rise in cases coming from its northern neighbour, Jordanian officials said.

South African data released this week suggests a record economic contraction in the second quarter following damage wrought by a strict nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. – Agencies

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