Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 8.5 million, death toll over 453,500

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At least 8,525,671 people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 453,721 have died, a Reuters tally showed.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

The World Health Organization referred to the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.


DEATHS AND INFECTIONS

At least 2,200,160 cases of the highly contagious novel coronavirus have been reported in the United States and its territories while more than 118,384 people have died, according to a Reuters tally of state and local government sources as of June 19, 2020, 2:09 PM (ET). The US diagnosed its first COVID-19 case in Washington state on January 20.

Likewise, Brazil follows the US with a total of 978,142 coronavirus cases with 46,510 death. According to Reuters’ interactive graphic tracking the global spread.

Likewise, India has the fourth-highest 380,532 coronavirus cases and 12,573 people have died.

European governments are working with the United States on plans to overhaul the World Health Organization, a top health official for a European country said, signalling that Europe shares some of the concerns that led Washington to say it would quit.


ASIA-PACIFIC

‒ China has released genome sequencing data for the coronavirus responsible for a recent outbreak in Beijing, with officials saying it identified a European strain based on preliminary studies.

‒ China’s latest plans to overhaul its disease control system may not improve its ability to handle future virus outbreaks, according to some experts inside and outside the country.

‒ Indonesia announced a tax break for manufacturers of personal protective equipment and household antiseptic products.

‒ Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria recorded a double-digit rise in new cases for the third straight day on Friday, raising doubts about how quickly the economy can resume.

‒ Japanese shoppers queued at Uniqlo stores and crashed its website as the clothing chain began selling face masks with breathable fabric used in the brand’s popular underwear.


EUROPE

‒ Traces of the coronavirus in a sewage study suggests COVID-19 was already circulating in Northern Italy before China reported the first cases.

‒ The death rate in England and Wales is higher among people who identify as Muslims, Jews, Hindus or Sikh than Christians or those with no stated religion, Britain’s statistics office said.

‒ The UK might need to temporarily suspend the wages-pensions link due to the big swings in earnings growth that are likely due to COVID support measures, a senior legislator said, as Britain lowered its alert level to “epidemic” from “exponential”.

‒ Germany’s coronavirus tracing app has been downloaded 9.6 million times, a government spokeswoman said.

‒ Norway, which has some of the strictest travel restrictions in Europe, must maintain tight control of its borders to avoid importing cases from abroad, its prime minister said.

‒ Russia on Friday reported 7,972 new cases on Friday, after it steeply revised up the number of medical workers who died after contracting COVID-19.

‒ The situation in Polish coal mines has stabilized after a rapid increase in new cases in the past few weeks, deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin said.


AMERICAS

‒ Several US hospitals in hard-hit states have started treating patients with dexamethasone rather than await confirmation of preliminary results of a study by British researchers, who said the inexpensive steroid saves lives.

‒ The spread of the virus in Buenos Aires’ so-called “villas” underscores how millions of often informal workers in Latin American cities are struggling to stick to isolation measures and stay financially afloat.


MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

‒ Madagascar has announced a stimulus package offering close to a million small businesses secure loans at below market rates.

‒ The new coronavirus pandemic hit Cape Town much earlier than previously assumed, a senior health official said.


MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS

‒ A sixth experimental vaccine from China is now being tested in humans after Clover Biopharmaceuticals said an early-stage study of its candidate was underway with vaccine boosters from UK’s GSK and US based Dynavax.


ECONOMIC FALLOUT

‒ The dollar recovered overnight losses and European stocks rose on Friday, even as coronavirus cases increased in some countries, as markets reassessed expectations for an economic recovery before a key European Union meeting.

‒ European Central Bank head, Christine Lagarde, told EU leaders their economy was in a “dramatic fall” and called on the bloc to act to spearhead revival, diplomatic sources and officials said.

‒ EU leaders began the process of approving an unprecedented stimulus package, aware of the need to deliver help quickly, but still divided over its final size and terms.

‒ Around 6.4 million Indonesians have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and new rounds of layoffs are likely to hit by August, the country’s chamber of commerce and industry said.

‒ Bankruptcy filings in Hong Kong rose to a 17-year high, records showed on Friday.


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