COVID-19 Global Updates

here’s a summary of the main stories on coronavirus.

New Zealand has recorded two new cases of Covid-19, their first cases in weeks. The two women, who are related, had travelled from the UK and were released from government quarantine and allowed to drive 650km from Auckland to Wellington on compassionate grounds.

China has banned high-risk travellers from leaving Beijing. The move comes after a further 27 cases were reported in the cluster connected to a market in the city. A total of 106 cases have been diagnosed since Thursday. All high-risk people in Beijing, such as close contacts of confirmed cases, are not allowed to leave the city. Authorities described the city’s coronavirus outbreak as “extremely severe” as dozens more cases emerged, sports and entertainment sites were closed.

Global cases have passed 8 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. It said there were now 8,018,742 cases and 436,406 deaths across the world.

The US Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency use authorisation for hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, the drug championed by president Donald Trump. Despite the FDA’s actions, the president said on Monday other countries had provided great reports on the effectiveness of the drug on Covid-19.

A study has estimated 20% of global population is at risk of serious illness if infected with Covid-19. An estimated 1.7 billion people risk becoming severely infected with Covid-19 due to underlying health problems such as obesity and heart disease, according to analysis carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and published in the Lancet medical journal.

South Korea has reported 34 new Covid-19 cases. It’s the third day in a row its new infections tally has been below 40. South Korea has been one of the most successful countries in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, but recent clusters around the capital have caused concern, and a two-week period of toughened prevention measures in Seoul has been extended indefinitely.

UK vaccine trials to start this week. Scientists will begin testing another possible coronavirus vaccine on humans this week. Researchers at Imperial College London will begin clinical trials in 300 people, to see whether their jab produces an effective immune response against Covid-19. The healthy participants, aged between 18 and 70, will all receive two doses of the vaccine over the coming weeks, and the hopes are that tests could then move on to 6,000 volunteers if they are successful.

Thailand reports no new infections. On Tuesday the country reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths and marked 22 successive days without a domestic transmission.

Some US-China flights to resume. The United States and China will each allow four weekly flights between the two countries, the US Transportation Department said on Monday, easing a standoff on travel restrictions in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico passes 150,000 infections There are now a total 150,264 confirmed coronavirus cases and 17,580 deaths, though the government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the official count.

Washington University predicts that US infections could pass 200,000 by October. The forecast projects 201,129 deaths in the US due to Covid-19 by October, mainly due to the reopening measures under way, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington said on Monday. It’s an 18% rise on its previous estimate. It said Florida would be among the hardest hit states, with an estimated 18,675 deaths, up 186% from a previous estimate. The institute raised its estimate for deaths in California by 72% to 15,155 and increased its outlook for Arizona by 56% to 7,415 fatalities.

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