United States President Donald Trump has insisted that the coronavirus will be brought “under control” even as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported at least 67,574 new coronavirus cases and at least 877 new deaths in the country.
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ventured out of his official residence, Alvorada Palace, on Sunday to speak and greet his supporters even as he recovers from COVID-19 disease.
Italy’s Lazio region, which includes Rome, is warning citizens that local lockdowns might have to be ordered if there are more clusters of coronavirus infections.
The number of deaths from the coronavirus around the world has surpassed 605,000, with the United States the worst-affected country. There are over 14.4 million confirmed cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates.
Monday, July 20
04:39 GMT – Hong Kong banks shutter branches again after COVID-19 infections
HSBC, Standard Chartered and other banks in Hong Kong closed branches or curtailed their working hours on Monday after a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases in the Asian financial hub, according to Reuters.
Hong Kong recorded more than 100 cases in a 24-hour period over the weekend, the most since the pandemic took hold in late January.
The rise in cases took the tally close to 2,000 patients, 12 of whom have died.
Hong Kong banks shut scores of branches in late January when the first wave of the coronavirus cases hit the city. These later reopened as case numbers dropped.
04:03 GMT – US state of Kentucky hits daily record in COVID-19 cases
A daily record of nearly 1,000 coronavirus cases has been reported in the US state of Kentucky, a spike that the governor said should be a “wake-up call” for the state’s citizens to abide by mask and social distancing restrictions, according to AP news agency.
Democratic Gov Andy Beshear announced in a news release that there were 979 new cases reported Sunday, including 30 involving children 5 years old or younger.
“I have faith and I have trust in the people of Kentucky,” Beshear said in a news release. “But today and in the days ahead we’ve got to do a whole lot better. We’re going to have to take some more action.”
The state has has more than 23,000 cases and almost 700 deaths reported so far.
03:38 GMT – Cyprus raises concerns over spread of infection by migrants
Cyprus’ health minister says there’s concern that coronavirus-infected migrants could be seeping through the ethnically divided island nation’s porous ceasefire line, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Sunday pointed to “a problem” after a number of migrants who recently crossed from the breakaway north to seek asylum in the internationally recognised south have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Ioannou said the government had ordered two months ago that all migrants undergo testing for the virus before they enter reception centers for processing.
Reportedly at least eight Syrian migrants who crossed southward in the last week tested positive for the virus.
03:16 GMT – Big majority of Japanese reject govt tourism campaign amid new coronavirus fears
Most people in Japan are against government plans to kickstart domestic tourism with a subsidised campaign, according to newspaper surveys published on Monday, as fears grow over the number of new coronavirus cases, particularly in Tokyo, according to Reuters news agency.
The results highlight growing concerns that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s $16 billion “Go To” campaign, set to begin on Wednesday, could spread the virus to rural parts of the country where medical systems are fragile.
Broadcaster NHK said more than 500 new cases were reported nationally on Sunday, of which 188 were in Tokyo – down by about 100 from the previous day but still well above levels seen when Abe’s government in late May called an end to a state of emergency it had imposed to contain the virus.
A telephone survey conducted by the Asahi newspaper found 74 percent of respondents were opposed to the campaign. In a similar survey by the Nikkei business daily, some 80 percent of respondents said it was too early to launch such a programme.
Japan has not seen the kind of rapid spread of the virus that has killed tens of thousands in other countries. But Tokyo has raised its coronavirus alert to the highest level after a series of fresh highs for new cases.
02:58 GMT – More cases reported in China’s Xinjiang
Numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in Xinjiang’s city of Urumqi continue to rise, with another 17 reported on Monday, bringing the total in China’s latest outbreak to at least 47.
Another five cases were brought from outside the country, according to AP news agency quoting the National Health Commission.
No new deaths were reported, leaving the total at 4,634 among 83,682 cases, and 249 people remain in treatment. Another 158 people were being monitored in isolation for showing signs of having the virus or for testing positive without displaying symptoms.
China had largely contained local transmission of the virus before the Urumqi outbreak and has taken swift action including a lockdown to bring it under control.
02:40 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 249 to 201,823
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 249 to 201,823, Reuters news agency reported on Monday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
The reported death toll rose by two to 9,086, the tally showed.
02:05 GMT – Despite his COVID-19 infection, Brazil’s Bolsonaro greets supporters
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ventured out of his official residence, Alvorada Palace, on Sunday to speak and greet his supporters even as he recovers from COVID-19 disease.
Bolsonaro, who announced he tested positive for coronavirus on July 7 stepped out onto the grounds of official resident, walked towards a group of supporters, and spoke with them for around one hour.
Brazilian President was wearing a mask and kept some meters (yards) of distance from his supporters.
Bolsonaro said he is feeling well, despite the virus, and again credited his health to the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19, despite no scientific evidence.
01:50 GMT – Australia’s Victoria state reports 275 new cases of coronavirus
Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria on Monday recorded one death from the new coronavirus and logged 275 cases of infections compared with 363 cases a day earlier, according to Reuters news agency.
A woman in her 80s died from the virus overnight, Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing in Melbourne, taking the national death toll to 123.
Coronavirus cases have spiked in Victoria in July, mostly in the city of Melbourne, prompting authorities to ask residents to wear face masks when they step outside their houses or risk fines of A$200 ($139.54) for not complying.
01:30 GMT – Imported coronavirus cases still rising in South Korea
South Korea’s imported coronavirus cases continue to rise by double digit figures, according to the latest figures on Monday, even as new daily virus cases fell below 30 for the first time in more than three weeks.
The country identified 26 new cases, raising the total caseload to 13,771, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). Of the newly added cases, just four were local infections, and 22 were imported.
The country has seen double-digit numbers of imported cases for 25 consecutive days as of Monday, according to Yonhap news agency.
One additional death was also reported, bringing the total death toll to 296.
01:00 GMT – El Salvador postpones economic reopening
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has announced that he will postpone the second phase of the country’s economic reopening, slated to begin Tuesday, after evaluating inputs from experts and the Salvadoran health ministry, Reuters news agency reported.
As recently as Saturday, the president had reiterated his intention to move forward with the next stage of restarting the economy.
“After listening to the opinions of experts and above all, the Ministry of Health … I have decided to suspend Phase 2 of the economic reopening,” Bukele wrote in a social media post on Sunday.
El Salvador has registered a total of 11,846 coronavirus cases and 335 deaths.
00:30 GMT – Mexico reports 5,311 new cases of coronavirus, 296 more deaths
Mexico’s health ministry reported 5,311 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 296 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 344,224 cases and 39,184 deaths, according to Reuters news agency early on Monday.
The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
00:12 GMT – US state of Florida adds 12,000 new cases
The United States state of Florida reported more than 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fifth day in a row the state has recorded over 10,000 new infections, even as President Donald Trump pledged that “it’s going to be under control”.
The virus has claimed over 140,000 US lives since the pandemic started, and Florida, California, and other Southern and Western states are creating new records every day, according to Reuters news agency.
“We have embers and we do have flames. Florida became more flame-like, but it’s – it’s going to be under control,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News television channel.
00:01 GMT – Golf legend Jack Nicklaus reveals he had COVID-19
US golf legend Jack Nicklaus has revealed that he and his wife tested positive for the coronavirus at the onset of the pandemic, AP news agency reported.
Nicklaus and his wife, Barbara, turned 80 a month apart at the start of the year.
He said his wife had no COVID-19 symptoms, while he had a sore throat and a cough. Nicklaus said they were home in the US state of Florida, from March 13 “until we were done with it” on about April 20.
“It didn’t last very long, and we were very, very fortunate, very lucky,” Nicklaus said. “Barbara and I are both of the age, both of us 80 years old, that is an at-risk age. Our hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families. We were just a couple of the lucky ones.”
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 19, here.