Published: June 17, 2020 1:19:20 pm
Coronavirus Global Updates: Rise in new cases of infection and clusters have increased fears of a global second wave even as more than 8.1 million people across the world are infected. Nearly 4 million people have recovered, while over 443,000 have died following the outbreak.
The number of coronavirus fatalities in the United States surpassed the number of American military casualties in World War 1. At least five US states are seeing a record rise in cases and hospitalisations as the country accelerates reopening its economy.
Across the pond, the Latin American region is fast approaching the 4 million mark even as the pandemic continues to accelerate and worsen, WHO’s regional director for the Americas, Carissa Etienne said.
And in Asia, Beijing introduced a slew of strict measures like cancelling flights after the emergence of a new cluster.
Here are the developments from across the globe
Record spike in coronavirus cases in US states
Fresh coronavirus cases hit a record high in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas on Tuesday showcasing a rising trend in new cases for the second consecutive week. As the states accelerate reopening the number of hospitalisations are also rising to record highs.
Following a new surge in Beijing, flights cancelled, schools closed
China’s capital witnessed a slight increase in new coronavirus cases Wednesday as it fights a new outbreak after almost two months. Beijing has introduced a wave of new restrictions including cancelling over 60 commercial flights in and out of the city, especially from districts that are reporting cases. Beijing’s education commission ordered the closure of schools to stop the new surge in cases.
Beijing reported 31 cases up from 27 the day before in an outbreak that has been primarily linked to a wholesale food market.
New Zealand PM assigns military to oversee border quarantine measures
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has assigned a top military leader to oversee the country’s border quarantine measures after what she described as an unacceptable failure by health officials in allowing two women who returned from London to leave quarantine before they had been tested for the virus.
Before the two new cases, the country was declared as coronavirus free after not reporting any case for more than 3 weeks.
Dexamethasone drug offers some hope as cases surge
Researchers in the UK Tuesday announced the first evidence of a drug that can improve COVID-19 survival. The drug, dexamethasone, is a cheap and widely available steroid that reduced deaths by 35% in patients who needed treatment with breathing machines and by 20% in those only needing supplemental oxygen. However the drug did not appear to help people with less serious symptoms.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the drug was the biggest breakthrough yet in treating the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Israel has signed an agreement with Moderna Inc for the future purchase of a potential coronavirus vaccine in case the company succeeds in its development.
Singapore to start human trials of vaccine in August
Singapore scientists testing a COVID-19 vaccine from US firm Arcturus Therapeutics plan to start human trials in August after showing a promising response in mice.
The vaccine being evaluated in Singapore works on relatively-untested Messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which instructs human cells to make specific coronavirus proteins that produce an immune response.
Some other important developments
- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said on Tuesday he has been tested positive of coronavirus, but did not immediately provide further details.
- Thailand reported no new coronavirus cases and deaths Wednesday, marking the 23rd consecutive day without any local transmission.
- South Africa reported record high infections over the weekend, two weeks after businesses and houses of worship reopened.
- Egypt reported the country’s highest single day death toll with 97 deaths on Monday.
- Israel health officials fear a rise of 200 cases per day as infection rate steadily goes up following lockdown relaxations
- Brazil reported a record 34,918 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as the second worst affected country in the world is fast approaching the 1 million mark.
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