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Coronavirus: A timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is evolving

Spain experiencing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases but not yet a second wave

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, Spain was one of the most heavily affected countries in Europe. Spain struggled to control the surge of new cases during the first wave, resulting in high fatalities from cases. The country was then placed under one of the harshest lockdowns in Europe in an attempt to flatten the curve. Similar to other countries in Europe, Spain’s Covid-19 daily confirmed cases started to decline in May and the country seemed to have regained control of the situation. However, the daily confirmed cases have started increasing again, raising concerns that Spain will experience a second wave of Covid-19.

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1:27 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 19,127,000 Covid-19 cases world wide – soaring infections among young people

7 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 19,127,000 with more than 715,000 deaths and 11,578,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

Brazil experienced a spike in the number of daily new cases with more than 110,000 confirmed on 6 August.

Around the world schools have been reopened only to be shut down again quickly after new cases emerge.

Cases in young people have been soaring and risks of a second and/or third wave remain high.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:04 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Brazil to spend $356m on University of Oxford’s vaccine – AstraZeneca signs supply deal in China

7 August 2020 

AstraZeneca has partnered with Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products to manufacture its Covid-19 vaccine candidate in mainland China, marking its first deal to supply in the country. As part of the deal, Shenzhen Kangtai will have an annual production capacity of at least 100 million doses of the vaccine candidate, AZD1222. AstraZeneca said the Chinese company must have capacity to manufacture at least 200 million doses by the end of next year, under the exclusive framework agreement.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ordered BRL1.9bn ($356m) funds to be set aside to buy and later manufacture the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Brazil acting Health Minister General Eduardo Pazuello expects the vaccine to be available by December or January. Initially, the country would receive 100 million doses, which would help vaccinate 50% of its population.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has started a clinical trial, named ACTT 3, to assess Gilead Sciences‘ remdesivir plus the immunomodulator interferon beta-1a to treat Covid-19. The study will recruit more than 1,000 hospitalised adults with Covid-19 at approximately 100 sites in the US and internationally. In February, the NIH initiated ACTT study to assess remdesivir as a monotherapy in Covid-19 patients.

CytoDyn is set to submit requests for pre-submission meetings in the UK to seek emergency approval for the use of leronlimab in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients. The company completed a Phase II trial of the drug in this indication and a Phase III study is being conducted in severe to critical Covid-19 patients. Furthermore, CytoDyn intends to seek approval for the drug to treat HIV patients when given with HAART.

SAB Biotherapeutics has received a $35.6m grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to support the development of its SAB-185, a new therapeutic to target SARS-CoV-2 without using human donors. The company will use the funds for clinical development and manufacturing of the therapeutic.

8:37 am

How the IMF can help mitigate world wide government debt crisis

7 August

Government debt is rising across the world as countries continue to borrow to release funds for economic recovery amid the pandemic.

The rising debt could lead to a global crisis plagued by unemployment, fuel instability and violence.

Tony Addison, professor of economics at University of Copenhagen, shared an article on the ways in which a global debt crisis can be prevented.

It is estimated more than 100 low to middle income countries will have to pay $130bn in debt service in 2020, out of which approximately half of it will need to be paid to private creditors.

An alternative to avoid such a debt crisis is voluntary sovereign debt buybacks, which can help in reducing debt burdens by obtaining discounts on the face value of sovereign bonds.

A multilateral buyback facility managed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be implemented to manage funds from a global consortium of countries.

To ensure debt reduction, the IMF can conduct auctions and buyback certain amounts of bonds.

Read more

1:39 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 18.8 million – sustained increase in Iran

6 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,837,000 with over 708,000 deaths and 11,381,000 recoveries.

World wide, cases continue to rise, with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

The death toll also continues to grow with the US having over 158,000 deaths and Brazil nearing 100,000.

Iran continues to see a sustained infection period with around 2,500 new cases being diagnosed each day since mid-June.

Iran initially had seemed to have control over the virus spread as new confirmed cases rapidly declined through April.

However, they rebounded again in May.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases approach 19 million – Florida infections pass half million – Trump says virus is ‘going away’

6 August

Global: The coronavirus pandemic death toll passed 707,000 late on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. Meanwhile, the global infection rate passed 18.8 million. The US accounts for the highest portion of Covid-19 deaths, with 158,256. The next worst-affected in terms of the number of lives lost is Brazil with 97,256.

US: Donald Trump on Wednesday repeated that he believes coronavirus will “go away”, despite his top public health expert warning that it could take most of 2021 or longer to get the pandemic under control and that it is “unlikely” the virus can ever be eradicated. At a White House briefing, the US president said of Covid-19: “It’s going away, it will go away, things go away, absolutely. No question in my mind, sooner rather than later.”

Florida has surpassed 500,000 coronavirus cases as testing ramps up following a temporary shutdown of some sites because of Tropical Storm Isaias.

A rash of poisonings and four deaths in May and June were tied to drinking hand sanitizer that contained methanol in Arizona and New Mexico, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The incidents happened after President Donald Trump mused on ingesting disinfectants to treat the novel coronavirus.

California reported 202 new virus deaths, marking its second-deadliest day of the pandemic. The state has had 9,703 Covid fatalities.

Twitter and Facebook have taken action against a video posted by Trump campaign’s account and shared by the US president for breaking the company’s Covid-19 misinformation rules. The clip came from an interview with Fox & Friends in which Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to Covid-19.

The US Supreme Court lifted a lower court order that required specific steps to curb Covid-19 at four southern California jail facilities that have seen more than 400 cases since the outbreak began.

South Africa: The World Health Organization has deployed a “surge team” of 43 health experts to South Africa to help the country deal with the pandemic, which has seen nearly 530,000 cases confirmed in the country – the fifth-highest in the world – and 9,298 deaths.

Australia: Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews has announced that 471 new coronavirus cases were confirmed overnight, along with eight new deaths. Both figures are lower than Wednesday’s, which marked Victoria’s most devastating day of Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 15 deaths overnight and 725 new cases.

France: France’s daily Covid-19 infections reached the highest in more than two months on Wednesday, with 1,695 new cases. The seven-day moving average stood above the 1,300 threshold for the first time since the end of April when the country was still in lockdown.

Turkey: Fears grow in Turkey as daily virus cases top 1,000. Officials have expressed concern over the rising number of coronavirus cases as the daily infection toll exceeded 1,000 for the second day in a row.

Brazil: Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government must adopt measures to stop the spread of novel coronavirus to the country’s vulnerable indigenous communities. A majority of the justices voted to give the government 30 days to draw up a plan to reduce the threat to Indigenous people from Covid-19, which could wipe out some tribes.

Lockdown updates

US: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said travellers who have visited 35 states or territories with high Covid-19 transmission rates are required to complete the state’s traveller form as they pass through checkpoints at key entry points into the city.

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of its reopening plan for another five weeks, Governor Roy Cooper said in a twe​et. The order keeps businesses including bars, movie theatres and bowling alleys closed while limiting gatherings to ten people indoors and 25 people outside.

Japan: Hideaki Ohmura, the governor of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, announced a regional “state of emergency”, urging people to stay home at night and businesses to close altogether or close early to curb the coronavirus. The measures will continue through August 24, a period that coincides with the Obon holidays, when schools and many companies close.

Netherlands: Amsterdam and the port of Rotterdam on Wednesday made face masks compulsory in certain busy areas, including the Dutch capital’s Red Light district, as coronavirus infections showed a worrying spike. The new measures come as the number of infections doubled in a week in the country, where more than 55,000 people have now been infected and some 6,150 have died.

Germany: Germany addeed Belgium’s virus-hit Antwerp to quarantine list. Antwerp province was added to the list of coronavirus risk zones, requiring travellers arriving from the region to go into quarantine for 14 days unless they can produce a negative Covid-19 test.

Economic updates

Italy: Italy’s national civil aviation authority has threatened to suspend Ryanair’s permit to fly in the country over alleged non-compliance with coronavirus safety rules, but the low-cost carrier denied flouting them.

China: Small businesses in China are being told by their foreign banks that loan extensions mandated by the government no longer apply to them as the nation dials back one of the relief measures unleashed after the coronavirus lockdown.

Philippines: The Philippines plunged into recession after its biggest quarterly contraction on record, according to data from the country’s Statistics Authority. Gross domestic product shrank 16.5% on-year in the second quarter, data showed, as the Philippine economy reels from one of the world’s longest stay-at-home orders that has wrecked businesses and thrown millions out of work.

North Korea: Leader Kim Jong Un directed his government agencies to act immediately to stabilise the livelihoods of residents in a city locked down over coronavirus concerns, state media reported. North Korea declared an emergency and locked down Kaesong near the inter-Korean border in late July after finding a suspected virus case there. It has not confirmed yet if the person tested positive.

8:58 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Janssen signs supply deal with the US – Moderna sets a price for its Covid-19 vaccine

6 August 2020 

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical entered into an agreement with the US Government for the large scale domestic production and supply of 100 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Ad26.COV2.S. The government committed to provide more than $1bn for the deal, and may buy an additional 200 million doses of the vaccine in the future.

Moderna has priced smaller volume agreements for its potential Covid-19 vaccine at between $32 and $37 per dose. Larger volume agreements for the vaccine will be priced lower, the company said. The vaccine candidate is currently in a Phase III trial, which is designed to enrol approximately 30,000 participants.

Zydus Cadila has launched Phase II clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, ZyCoV-D, which showed promise in a Phase I study. The company completed dosing in the Phase I trial, where the vaccine was found to be safe and well tolerated in healthy participants. An independent Data Safety Monitoring Board endorsed the seven day safety of the vaccine in all the Phase I participants, noted the company.

Pfizer and BioNTech have agreed to supply their BNT162 Covid-19 vaccine candidate to the Canadian Government, contingent on clinical success and regulatory approval. Financial terms of the agreement were based on the delivery timing and the volume of doses. Deliveries are expected to occur over the course of next year.

Serum Institute of India has signed a supply and licence agreement to develop and commercialise Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The deal will provide Serum Institute with exclusive rights to the vaccine in India during the agreement period and non-exclusive rights during the pandemic in all other countries, which are designated as upper-middle or high-income.

VBI Vaccines’ Canadian unit Variation Biotechnologies has received up to a CA$56m funding from the government for the development of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VBI-2900, through Phase II clinical studies. In addition, the company will leverage the funds to finalise manufacturing process development and expand the workforce at its research and development facility in Ottawa.

7:58 am

19 million at risk in testing times for US Affordable Care Act

6 August

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of job losses in the US. Apart from losing their income, people are at risk of losing employer based health insurance.

Although the government has alternate measures such as the Affordable Care Act, its ability to serve all those in need will be tested during the pandemic.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, shared an article on how more than 26.8 million people in the US are at risk of losing their health insurance due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related job losses.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has acted as a safety net for those people with low or moderate income that are losing employer based health insurance.

However, the pandemic will test how the ACA is able to serve all the people who lose health insurance from employers.

Without ACA, more than 19 million people could become uninsured and unable to access healthcare facilities.

Read more

2:58 pm

Canada invests $3.58m in IMV’s Covid-19 vaccine trials

The Canadian Government has invested up to CA$4.75m ($3.58m) in Nova Scotia-based IMV’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, DPX-Covid-19.

As part of the Canadian  National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), as well as from the Canada Opportunities Agency and  Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, IMV will receive CA$4.15m. In addition, IMV has received CA$600,000 from the NRC IRAP’s innovative assistance programme. 

This funding will be used to support the scaling up of manufacturing and a Phase I study of DPX-Covid-19 in Canada. 

DPX-Covid-19 is a slightly different vaccine approach; it combines traditional vaccine methods with immunotherapy to generate a targeted immune response against the virus.

IMV CEO Frederic Ors commented: “Governmental organisations play a pivotal role in the fight against Covid-19.

“Their contribution allows IMV to leverage our innovative DPX platform for the rapid development of a vaccine to protect against the coronavirus.

“Vaccination is our best hope for ending the current pandemic. Based on our preclinical results and rapid development, we believe that both our vaccine and manufacturing approaches have the potential to be transformational for Covid-19, and we appreciate the governments’ support and confidence in our progress.”

1:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 18.5 million – major spike of new infections in Spain

5 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,563,000 with over 701,000 deaths and 11,156,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

The US appeared to have turned a corner by slowing the number of new infections, however, the reopening of schools and students returning to college campuses has significantly raised the risk of increased spread.

Spain has seen a major spike in the number of new cases for the first time since the peak of infection in late March with more than 8,500 cases confirmed on 3 August.

It remains unclear if this new peak is a second wave or spikes in localized infections.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:49 pm

US DoD invests $35m in studies of PTx’s Leukin for Covid-19

Partner Therapeutics (PTx) has signed a $35m funding agreement with the US Department of Defence (DoD) for its inhaled drug Leukine in patients with Covid-19 associated acute hypoxemia.

The DoD’s funding, which comes through the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND), will support two clinical studies of Leukine for this patient group.

The first of these will be initiated in August 2020 in the US under an FDA-approved investigational new drug application. Further information about the second study was not provided.

These studies will supplement data already being gathered by PTx in studies in Belgium and Singapore.

In addition, the DoD funding will support PTx’s potential future regulatory filings and the scaling up of production capacity of Leukin to meet demand.

“Treatment with Leukine may confer benefit to patients with acute respiratory distress and potentially reduce long term complications.  We are grateful to the DOD’s JPEO-CBRND for supporting this effort to assess the potential role of Leukine to treat patients with severe COVID-19 infection,” stated PTx chief medical officer Dr Debasish Roychowdhury.

“Effective, safe and easily administered treatments that halt or reverse the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of long term complications represent an area of significant unmet need in treatment of Covid-19.”

JPEO-CBRND joint project manager Colonel Ryan Eckmeier added: “We are pleased to work with PTx and excited about the prospects of repurposing already FDA-approved medical countermeasures for the fight against Covid-19.

Leukin is already approved by the FDA for acute radiation syndrome (ARS). The drug was acquired by PTx in 2018.

9:58 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 700,000 as infections exceed 18.5 million – Australian states increase lockdowns

5 August

Global: Global infections of Covid-19 have passed 18.5 million. Meanwhile, the global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University and Reuters tallies, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.

Latin America: Latin America has surpassed Europe to become the region with the highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. The region has now recorded more than 206,000 deaths, approximately 30% of the global total.

US: California reported 4,526 new cases, its lowest daily tally since June and well below the 14-day average of 8,476 infections, according to state health data. There were 113 added deaths, compared with the two-week daily average of 125. That brings the total to 9,501.

New Zealand: New Zealand must prepare for another local outbreak of the coronavirus, the Director-General of Health warned. It’s inevitable that there will be a case of community transmission of Covid-19, Ashley Bloomfield told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday.

Czech Republic: The Czech Republic reported on Wednesday its biggest daily jump in new coronavirus cases since the end of June as a recent uptick in infections stays elevated.

Vaccine News

The World Health Organization has urged caution over a coronavirus vaccine that Russia has been developing, the Telegraph reported, citing a document from the organization.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Queensland state will close its border with New South Wales (NSW) to hold back a second wave of Covid-19 infections. A surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city, has forced the state of Victoria to impose a night curfew, tighten restrictions on people’s movements and order most businesses to stop trading from Wednesday night.

UK: Labour leader Keir Starmer has told Boris Johnson that he has a month to fix Britain’s failing test-and-trace system or risk sending the country into a second lockdown as schools go back in September.

Schools in England should be the last to close and the first to reopen in the event of a second lockdown, the children’s commissioner has said, adding that young people had sometimes been an “afterthought” during the crisis. Anne Longfield said pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops should be shut ahead of schools in the case of emergency restrictions.

Japan: Toshiro Muto, chief executive of Tokyo’s Olympic organizing committee, told the Financial Times that the event will still take place next summer, and that the national government must take a larger role since a comprehensive virus strategy will be crucial.

Economic updates

Global: Gold has soared to a record high price of $2,030.72 per ounce as financial markets move money into ultra-safe assets that they think are less likely to lose value if the world slumps into a prolonged recession thanks to Covid-19.

US: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar will visit Taiwan in coming days, making the highest-level visit by a US official in 40 years in a move likely to anger China which claims the island as its own.

US losses from coronavirus-related fraud and identity theft have reached nearly $100m since the pandemic emerged in March, while complaints of Covid-19 scams have at least doubled in most states, a consumer protection group has said.

Virgin Atlantic has become the latest corporate casualty of the pandemic after declaring itself bankrupt and has filing for protection from creditors in the US. The move means it can restructure its debt and plot a course back into operation.

9:05 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Valneva signs a manufacturing agreement with UK – Taiwan to seek supplies of dexamethasone

5 August 2020 

The UK Government and biotech company Valneva are set to make a joint investment in a manufacturing facility in Livingston, West Lothian as part of an agreement for early access to 60 million doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The investment will boost manufacturing capacity at Valneva’s Livingston site, which could deliver up to 100 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally. This deal follows a manufacturing agreement between the UK and pharmaceutical company Wockhardt.

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general have urged the US Government on Tuesday to use their legal authority to boost the availability and affordability of Gilead Sciences’ Covid-19 treatment remdesivir. In a letter, the group called on the country’s health agencies to ensure sufficient supply of the drug at a reasonable price. Gilead has set the price of the drug at $3,200 per treatment course.

Novavax has reported positive Phase I results from the Phase I/II clinical trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate performed in healthy participants aged 18-59 years. Data showed that the adjuvanted vaccine was generally well-tolerated and was able to trigger antibody responses numerically superior to that found in human convalescent sera.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched a Phase III clinical trial, named ACTIV-3, to evaluate various types of monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for Covid-19. The trial, which has an adaptive two-stage design, will be conducted at select hospitals globally. It can be modified to assess additional investigational therapeutics, noted NIH.

Taiwan has granted provisional authorisation to steroid drug dexamethasone as a treatment for Covid-19. The decision comes as the country faces a shortfall of the antiviral drug remdesivir, according to Reuters. Taiwan had ordered for 2,000 doses of remdesivir to arrive by the end of July, but currently only has 78 doses in stock, which were enough to treat 54 seriously-ill patients.

India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries has launched favipiravir drug under the brand name FluGuard for the treatment of coronavirus infection. Favipiravir holds approval in India to potentially treat patients with mild to moderate Covid-19. The company will collaborate with the government and medical community to make the drug available to patients across the country.

 

7:51 am

How bitcoin could ease US budget deficit

5 August

The US recorded the largest budget deficit in its history in June owing to the stimulus packages released to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Matonis, chief economist at Cypherpunk Holdings, shared an article on how the US printed more money than in the first two centuries since its founding.

The US had a budget deficit of $864bn in June, which is larger than the total debt incurred between 1776 and the end of 1979.

The article notes that the government should tackle the deficit by moving away from paper money to Bitcoin, as there is no inflation or hyperinflation associated with the cryptocurrency.

A decentralised financial structure in which everyone can participate at a very low cost is needed.

In other news, new lockdown restrictions imposed in Melbourne are expected to prolong Australia’s recession until the end of the year.

Australia recorded two consecutive quarters of negative growth and the fresh lockdowns may lead to another quarter of negative growth.

Read more

2:27 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 18.3 million – South America and India struggle to contain spread

4 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,317,000 with more than 694,000 deaths and 10,930,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise as the US, Brazil, and India remain the top three most affected countries, while South America also continues to see increasing numbers of new cases at a high rate.

However, the US may have reached a turning point with the number of daily new cases declining for the last four days.

India seems unable to slow the spread of disease with around 50,000 new cases being confirmed each day for the past ten days.

South Africa on the other hand appears to have passed the point of peak infection with new cases declining each day since 24 July.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:11 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections near 18.3 million – Trump rejects US lockdown as cases pass 4.7 million

4 August

Global: Covid-19 cases have reached almost 18.3 million with more than 693,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Latin America: Latin America broke through five million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday according to a Reuters tally, underscoring the region’s position as the area of the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brazil has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in the world after the US, with more than 2.75 million and 94,665 deaths, according to health ministry data.

US: The United States has added 48,395 new coronavirus cases pushing the total number to 4.73 million, according to a Reuters tally. The news agency also reported another 582 deaths, adding to the total of almost 156,000.

China: China reported 36 new cases of Covid-19 (including 6 imported cases). Of the 30 local cases, 28 are in the western province of Xinjiang, and two in the eastern province of Liaoning.

For the first time in two weeks, Hong Kong reported fewer than 100 new cases of Covid-19 in a day. The city is experiencing its third and worst wave of the outbreak since the virus first appeared there in January.

Brazil: President Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, General Walter Souza Braga Netto is the seventh Brazilian minister to have contracted Covid-19. Last week, Bolsonaro’s wife tested positive, following her husband’s infection.

Iran: One person is dying from Covid-19 every seven minutes in Iran, state television said on Monday, as the country’s health ministry reported 215 new deaths from the disease. The combined death toll in Iran rose to 17,405 on Monday while the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035. Of those, 270,228 have recovered.

New Zealand: New Zealand has recorded no new cases of Covid-19. There are 22 cases of the disease in the country, all in managed isolation. The country’s health director general, Ashley Bloomfield, warned that a single case outside of quarantine facilities could turn into a wider outbreak if people were not vigilant.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 34 more cases of the coronavirus, with the number of imported cases almost twice that of local infections, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday. The 21 imported cases and 13 local infections raised country’s total Covid-19 infections to 14,423, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Italy: The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy has fallen below 200 for the first time in a week, with 159 new cases registered, according to AP news agency quoting the health ministry. That brings the total number of cases in Italy to 248,229 and deaths to 35,166 as of the end of Monday.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,767 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 266 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 443,813 cases and 48,012 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

Vietnam: Vietnamese authorities issued a stay-at-home order for Bien Hoa, the capital city of Dong Nai province bordering the nation’s commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s fourth municipality to undergo such a home lockdown.

Vaccine News

The World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that there may never be an effective Covid-19 vaccine.

Lockdown updates

Global: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic and said that getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority”, according to Reuters.

US: President Trump has rejected a national lockdown to bring the coronavirus pandemic in the US under control and insisted the US had done “very well” fighting the virus. The US has recorded in excess of 4.7 million cases and more than 155,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner instructed police in the fourth-largest US city to begin issuing warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public. The mayor said in a tweet that people meeting certain criteria will be exempted.

Blow-out parties and rising cases nationally prompted New Jersey to lower crowd caps and New York to call for stricter distancing enforcement or risk resurgence of the coronavirus in the pandemic’s early US epicenter.

UK: The UK’s plans to block further spikes in coronavirus allow for ministers to lock down London, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, as officials prepare for a resurgence of Covid-19 in the months ahead.

Australia: The state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster and imposed strict lockdown following the surge in cases of the disease, and the reporting of at least 439 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The state also said that it will deploy its military and that anyone who has contracted Covid-19 and caught outside their home in breach of isolation orders will face fines of as much as A$20,000 ($14,250),

Philippines: The Philippines has begun a lockdown of 27 million people, imposing stricter measures in an attempt to halt the country’s spiralling coronavirus case numbers. The measures were reintroduced on Tuesday after the country’s infection tally topped 100,000 and a coalition of health groups issued a “distress signal” urging President Rodrigo Duterte to act.

Economic updates

Singapore: Singapore plans to expand the range of business visitors to boost its hard-hit tourism sector, with the return of mass travel still a long way off amid the pandemic, according to the head of the country’s tourism agency.

9:25 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Lilly launches Phase III trial of neutralising antibody – RDIF supports delivery of drug Avifavir to South American countries

4 August 2020 

AbbVie, Amgen and Takeda, which are members of the COVID R&D Alliance, have started patient enrolment in the I-SPY COVID Trial. The study will assess the efficacy of cenicriviroc, Otezla (apremilast), Firazyr (icatibant injection) in severely ill, hospitalised Covid-19 patients requiring high-flow oxygen. The I-SPY COVID trial leverages Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative‘s adaptive platform trial design.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has said that its investigational Covid-19 antibody cocktail was able to prevent and treat the disease in rhesus macaques and hamsters, according to Reuters. The company added that the combination of two monoclonal antibodies was able to ‘almost completely block establishment of virus infection’ in the animals. The cocktail was also observed to mitigate infection in a second study, where animals were infected with a much higher level of the virus.

Eli Lilly, in alliance with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has started the Phase III BLAZE-2 clinical trial to assess LY-CoV555 for preventing Covid-19 in residents and staff at long-term care facilities. Being developed in alliance with AbCellera, LY-CoV555 is a neutralising antibody. The trial will recruit up to 2,400 participants in the US.

A joint venture by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and ChemRar Group has entered into an exclusive agreement with Bolivia’s Sigma Corp to deliver the Covid-19 drug Avifavir to Argentina, Bolivia, Equador, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay and Uruguay. The joint venture has also signed an agreement with 3Sixty Biopharmaceuticals to provide the drug to South Africa. The drug has already been delivered to 50 regions in Russia, along with Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Waisman Biomanufacturing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has agreed to collaborate with Heat Biologics to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine candidate for Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Phase I trials are expected to start early next year and UW–Madison may be a trial site. Heat’s vaccine candidate will use a genetically engineered combination of gp96 human protein and viral proteins to elicit a T-cell response.

The Russian Defense Ministry revealed that the volunteers participating in the Covid-19 vaccine test were found to be immune to coronavirus following the tests.  The ministry’s Zvezda broadcasting service reported: “The research results showed clearly that all volunteers had a clear immune response resulting from vaccination.” The final medical examination of these volunteers was carried out on 3 August in the Defense Ministry’s Main Military Clinical Hospital. It was carried out by the ministry along with the Russian National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.

7:45 am

How the US government can help families in need at no extra cost

4 August

The next stimulus package in the US is one of the most debated issues as to what should be included and what should be avoided.

Continuation of the $600 weekly payments, reopening of schools, and ensuring adequate child care facilities is important to ensure economic recovery.

However, journalist Pedro da Costa  shared an article on how emergency financial assistance can be released more quickly to the American population if the government changes a simple rule.

The current method of direct payments as part of the stimulus package took nearly three weeks to reach the people and is not helping the families in need.

Further, the overdraft fees and bank interest rates cut into the money provided by the government.

Incorporating changes to the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987, which covers how long a bank can hold money will help address this issue.

The changes can help in releasing funds immediately and does not cost anything for the government.

Read more

12:28 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases continue to rise past 18 million – US, Brazil and India most affected

3 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,093,000 with more than 689,000 deaths and 10,700,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise as the US, Brazil, and India remain the top three most affected countries.

South America also continues to see increasing numbers of new cases at a high rate.

Incidence rates in South America remain very high with Brazil, Peru, and Chile, all having infection rates of over 13,000 cases per 1,000,000 population.

Sao Paolo has seen the highest number of confirmed cases of any region in the World, putting it ahead of California, Florida, and South Africa.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:15 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 18 million with more than 689,000 deaths – widespread lockdown extensions

3 August

Global: Covid-19 cases have passed 18 million with more than 689,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Herd immunity against the coronavirus may take years to develop, Jaap Goudsmit, adjunct professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Harvard, said in an interview with Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

US: The United States reported a record 1.87 million cases of Covid-19 in July, more than twice the figure for the previous record month, April, when 860,000 new cases were reported, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. May saw 690,200 new infections, while June saw 820,000 cases. US infections are approaching 5 million, with 4,667,957 confirmed.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,853 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 274 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 439,046 cases and 47,746 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

Brazil: Brazil has recorded 25,800 additional confirmed cases and 541 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Reuters. The country has registered more than 2.73 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 94,104 as of the end of Sunday, according to the ministry data.

India: India reported nearly 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, down from the previous day’s record of 57,118. At least 37,364 people have died in India during the pandemic so far.

Vietnam: Vietnam is rushing to build a 700-bed makeshift hospital to cope with an outbreak in the central city of Da Nang, as the health minister warned the current strain of the virus is more contagious than those previously seen in the country.

China: The number of new Covid-19 cases in China’s far north-western region of Xinjiang continue to fall, with 28 reported on Monday. China reported 43 new cases nationwide, seven of them imported and eight in the north-eastern province of Liaoning.

Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread Covid-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt another wave.

UK: Millions of Covid-19 tests – which can offer results in 90 minutes and do not need to be administered by a health professional – will be rolled out to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories in the coming months, Reuters quoted health secretary Matt Hancock as saying.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 509 to 210,402, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The reported death toll rose by seven to 9,148, the tally showed.

South Korea: South Korea has confirmed 23 new cases – 20 from overseas and three local transmissions – amid a downward trend in the number of locally infected patients, AP reported. The cases announced on Monday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the country’s total to 14,389 cases and 301 deaths.

Italy: The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy nudged lower to 239 in the last 24 hours, while eight deaths were recorded in Lombardy, the epicentre of the country’s epidemic.

Singapore: Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed an additional 75 cases of Covid-19 infection, of which six are imported and 69 are local cases who have no recent travel history abroad.

Sweden: Sweden must expect to count its dead from the coronavirus in the “thousands,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in an interview in Dagens Nyheter. The biggest Nordic economy, which has opted for less restrictive measures than many countries in the fight against the pandemic, has had more than 330 deaths after confirmed cases topped 6,000 this week.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Residents in the city of Melbourne will be subject to an overnight curfew for the next six weeks, and be banned from travelling more than 5km to go shopping or to exercise, as Victoria attempts to get the number of new coronavirus cases under control. Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from 6pm on Sunday, residents in the Melbourne metropolitan area would be under curfew for six weeks until 13 September.

Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced plans to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until 25 April. “I understand it’s difficult to extend the effort and sacrifice two more weeks,” Sanchez said in a televised speech. “These are very difficult days for everyone.” A longer lockdown would be subject to cabinet and legislative approval.

UK: A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester in England in response to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities”.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is considering new lockdown measures in England should there be a second wave of coronavirus infections. Plans are being assessed after a rise in Covid-19 cases forced the prime minister to slow the lockdown easing on Friday, with proposed relaxations for the leisure and beauty sectors delayed.

Greece: Greece is extending its national lockdown, with restrictions on movement, until early April 27, Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Chardalias said. The country introduced a total lockdown on 22 March after moving quickly to put in place restrictions following the first confirmed case on 26 February. Greece so far has 1,673 cases and 68 deaths.

Singapore: Singapore will make some incoming travellers wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance with coronavirus quarantines as the city-state gradually reopens its borders.

Honduras: Honduras will extend its curfew for another week in an effort to curb the pandemic. Honduras first imposed a curfew, which is in effect daily between 5pm and 7am, in March.

UAE: Dubai imposed further restrictions on the movement of people and halted metro services as the Middle East’s business hub seeks to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

9:28 am

Covid-19 vaccines must be distributed globally to tackle the pandemic

3 August

Development efforts towards Covid-19 vaccines are going at a fast pace but doubts remain on the worldwide availability of them.

Hoarding of vaccines and lack of cooperation to distribute them may further complicate the efforts to control the pandemic. A coordinated effort towards distribution of vaccines is needed.

Chad P. Bown, senior fellow at Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared a video on the need for cooperation when it comes to vaccination.

As pharmaceutical companies continue to carry out research into the development of a vaccine for Covid -19, uncertainty remains on the availability once a viable vaccine is discovered.

Every country in the world may not be able to produce these vaccines particularly developing countries.

Further, sufficient doses of vaccines may not be available in the beginning leading to hoarding of vaccines.

The video highlights the need for a coordinated effort to distribute vaccines equally to curb the spread of the disease.

With all the countries interdependent on one another for their economic growth, it is essential to distribute the vaccines and reduce the economic damage caused by the disease.

Read more

8:52 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Merck is set to launch vaccine trials – Sanofi, GSK sign supply deals with EC, while Pfizer, BioNTech to supply 120 million doses to Japan

3 August 2020

Pfizer and BioNTech have entered into an agreement with Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to provide 120 million doses of their BNT162 Covid-19 vaccine candidate. While financial details of the deal were not divulged, the terms were said to be based on the delivery timing and the volume of doses. Deliveries are planned for the first half of next year.

NeuroRx and Relief Therapeutics have found that RLF-100 (aviptadil) led to rapid recovery from respiratory failure in patients critically ill with Covid-19. The first report of rapid clinical recovery involved a 54-year-old man who contracted Covid-19 while on treatment for rejection of a double lung transplant; he came off a ventilator within four days of treatment with RLF-100. Similar results were subsequently reported in more than 15 patients treated under emergency use.

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are in advanced talks with the European Commission (EC) to supply up to 300 million doses of potential Covid-19 vaccine. The doses are set to be produced in European countries, including France, Belgium, Germany and Italy. Sanofi and GSK also agreed to supply at least 100 million doses to the US and up to 60 million doses to the UK.

The Serum Institute of India has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct Phase II and III clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca. The vaccine is currently undergoing Phase II and III studies in the UK, Phase III study in Brazil, and Phase I and II studies in South Africa.

Merck has plans to begin clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which was obtained as part of the company’s acquisition of Themis, in the third quarter of this year. In its second quarter financial results, Merck added that another SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate being developed in alliance with IAVI is set to enter human studies this year.

1:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 17.3 million – daily incident rates rising in India

31 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 17,322,000 with over 673,000 deaths and 10,155,000 recoveries.

The Central and South American region remains a global hotspot for Covid-19, with five countries in the region among the top ten highest daily incident rates globally.

Mexico has consistently reported over 6,500 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 per day.

In addition, Panama is ranked number one in terms of per capita daily incident rates globally.

India has surpassed Brazil in terms of daily incident rates and is now ranked second globally behind the United States.

India reported over 49,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday and overall has over 1,638,000 confirmed cases to date.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

9:54 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 17.3 million – infections rising in US mid West – US deaths pass 152,000

31 July

Global: World wide Covid-19 cases have passed 17.3 million, with more than 673,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. US cases are nearing 4.5 million.

The World Health Organization has warned that spikes in coronavirus transmission in a number of countries were being driven by young people “letting down their guard”. “Young people are not invincible,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Thursday.

Countries have made “a deep under investment in public health infrastructure,” said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program. Ryan said he was surprised by countries’ unpreparedness for the contact tracing and testing that would be necessary.

US: Coronavirus infections appear to be picking up in the Midwestern United States, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said. According to Fox News, the coronavirus outbreak is “moving up” into Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska from the south “because of vacations and other reasons for travel.

California recorded 194 new virus deaths, second only to the 197 reported Wednesday and above the 14-day average of 112. Total fatalities now number 9,026.

India: India’s death toll climbed to 35,718, surpassing fatalities in Italy, the former European epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry posted 639 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday bring the country’s toll to 46,000, almost the same as the United Kingdom which has the third-highest death toll worldwide from the pandemic.

Argentina: Argentina posted a record daily increase of 6,377 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 185,373. There were 130 new deaths, taking the death toll to 3,441.

Japan: Japan does not need to reimpose a state of emergency chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said on Friday, reiterating the government’s stance amid a surge in new infections across the country. The country reported a record high for new cases for the second day in a row on Thursday with at least 1,274 cases, including a record 367 in Tokyo.

Vietnam: Vietnam has reported 45 new coronavirus infections in the city of Danang, marking the country’s biggest single-day jump in cases, as the health ministry sent more health experts to the central city in a bid to combat the outbreak.

China: Hong Kong reported a new daily record of coronavirus cases, logging 149 more infections by Thursday end. Amid the rise in cases, authorities reversed a ban on indoor dining, along restaurants to operate under limited hours and with limited capacity.

Iran: Iran’s government ignored repeated requests from senior prison officials for help in containing coronavirus in the country’s overcrowded jails, according to Amnesty International.

Australia: Victoria reported 627 new cases in the past 24 hours, a day after suffering a record 723 additional infections. There were eight more deaths.

Lockdown updates

UK: New restrictions have come into force in the north of England, including people not being able to mix with other households. The measures apply in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after an increase in cases. Households may go to hospitality, for instance, bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.

France: Some French cities are expected to introduce additional face mask requirements. From Friday in Orleans, in central France, masks will be required in open-air markets and after 9:00pm along the Loire river, where crowds of people have been gathering in the evenings. The mayors of Bayonne and the nearby Atlantic resort of Biarritz also announced that face masks would be compulsory in their city centres starting next week.

China: China tightened travel restrictions in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, requiring people arriving in the city from regions deemed to have high infection risks to undergo a two-week quarantine.

Philippines: President, Rodrigo Duterte, says restrictions in the capital Manila will remain until mid-August. He also announced free vaccines to combat a surge in infections that has overwhelmed health care workers and facilities. President Duterte extended quarantine restrictions, limiting movements of the elderly and children, and the operations of businesses from restaurants to gyms.

Indonesia: The resort island of Bali has reopened to domestic tourists after an almost four-month lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic.

Botswana: Botswana’s capital city Gaborone has returned to a two-week lockdown to stem its latest surge in coronavirus infections.

Economy updates

US: The US economy shrank by an annual rate of 32.9% between April and June, its sharpest contraction since demobilisation following WW2, government figures revealed on Thursday.

Southeast Asia: Is on the brink of a “socio-economic crisis” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that could reverse decades of poverty reduction, the United Nations has warned.

9:17 am

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca says vaccine is performing well so far – GSK wins a vaccine contractor from the Pentagon

31 July 202

Gilead Sciences aims to produce more than two million doses of its Covid-19 drug remdesivir by the end of the year, according to Bloomberg. In its earnings report, the company said that it has donated its existing stock of 1.5 million doses of the drug. Gilead expects to make several million more courses in 2021.

AstraZeneca has reported that it has obtained ‘good data so far’ on its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which was licensed from the University of Oxford and is currently in large-scale clinical studies. The potential vaccine has entered its final trial in Brazil, with studies ongoing in the UK and South Africa.

The Pentagon announced award of a contract worth $342m to UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the delivery of huge quantities of Covid-19 vaccines to US troops. GSK was the only firm to make a bid for the contract. Under the terms of the deal, the company will support US military locations and personnel bout in and outside the continental US. This work, which will be performed in North Carolina, comes with an estimated completion date of 28 February 2021.

South Korea-based Celltrion Group has received approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to conduct a Phase I clinical trial of its antiviral antibody against Covid-19. The company is also planning to perform global Phase II/III studies in patients with mild and moderate Covid-19.

The European Union (EU) has warned its member states of the risk of shortages of syringes, wipes and protective gear that will be required for potential mass vaccinations against Covid-19. Reuters added that the EU has urged joint procurement, with Italy and the Netherlands representatives expressing interest.

Appili Therapeutics has started screening of long-term care (LTC) facilities in Ontario, Canada to conduct its Phase II clinical trial of favipiravir as a post-exposure outbreak control measure against Covid-19. The aim is to enrol around 760 volunteers at 16 LTC facilities.

8:32 am

Covid-19 may need multiple vaccinations

31 July

Several pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus that has wreaked havoc on the world economy.

While one shot of the vaccine was initially thought to provide immunity against the virus, reports are now emerging that two or more annual vaccinations may be required.

Daniel Lacalle, an economist and author, shared an article on AstraZeneca CEO’s concerns that the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 virus may require annual vaccinations.

AstraZeneca is currently working on a vaccine in partnership with the Oxford University, which has produced a positive immune response in early stage human clinical trials.

Based on the technology used for developing a vaccine for SARS 1, the immunity provided by the vaccine may last for only 12 to 18 months.

The exact required vaccination period is not known due to the unpredictable nature of the virus.

In other news, Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Allianz, shared an article on a surge in insolvencies in the second quarter of 2020 across the world.

Approximately 147 companies with a turnover of more than €50m ($56.2m) went insolvent during the quarter.

Read more

1:36 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 667,000 – daily infection rates falling in US

30 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 17,054,000 with over 667,000 deaths and 9,964,000 recoveries.

The United States fell to ranking seventh globally in terms of per capita daily incident rates, however, the United States is still ranked number one in terms of cumulative incidence.

Florida has surpassed New York and is now ranked as the second state with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, reporting over 451,000 confirmed cases.

South Africa reported over 7,200 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday and over 7,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

These are the two lowest daily incident rates reported by South Africa since the beginning of July.

However, South Africa still remains as ranking fourth in cumulative incidence rates globally.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:45 am

International Update: World wide Covid-19 cases pass 17 million – second wave hits Japan – surge continues in Latin America

30 July

Global: World wide Covid-19 cases have passed 17 million, with more than 667,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. US cases now exceed 4.4 million while Brazil now has more than 2.5 million infections.

US: The United States continues to have by far the highest number of Covid cases and deaths in the world, as the country passed 150,000 fatalities late on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. California, Texas and Florida each reported record daily increases in deaths from Covid-19 Wednesday.

With US cases and deaths continuing to climb, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are calling for a “reset” of the country’s coronavirus response.

Mexico: Mexico reported 5,752 more Covid-19 infections, according to Health Ministry data, as cases continue to surge in Latin America. The country’s death toll rose by 485 to 45,361 – with Mexico set to overtake the UK as the hot spot with the third-highest number of deaths worldwide from the virus.

Australia: Australia has reported a record rise in coronavirus infections and deaths, with the state of Victoria announcing more than 700 new cases and 13 deaths, as the state continues to battle significant outbreaks in the aged care sector and among healthcare workers.

Brazil: Brazil’s outbreak set a national daily record on Wednesday with 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 related deaths.

Ukraine: Ukraine reported a record daily high of 1,197 new coronavirus cases on July 30, the country’s council of security and defense said.

Japan: Japan is bracing for a surge in the number of coronavirus infection after fresh cases exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time. Tokyo confirmed 367 new coronavirus infections, national broadcaster NHK said, topping the previous record of 366 cases on 23 July.

Vietnam: Authorities in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, say they will test some 21,000 people who recently returned from Danang where an outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed last weekend.

Papua New Guinea: An Australian medical emergencies team has been deployed to Papua New Guinea where the outbreak has deteriorated in recent days. AFP news agency says the country’s pandemic response centre was closed yesterday after a senior adviser was diagnosed with the virus, and the health minister is also being tested.

China: China has reported 105 new coronavirus cases in the mainland, up from 101 cases a day earlier. The National Health Commission says 96 of the new cases were confirmed in the far western region of Xinjiang, while five were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, one in Beijing, and three imported cases.

Germany: Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in about six weeks, while the country’s infection rate remained just above the key threshold of 1.0.

Pakistan: Pakistan announced that it had added 1,063 new cases, for a total of 276,288. Its Health Ministry said the country’s death toll had reached 5,892. In South-East Asia, Thailand reported six new cases, bringing its total to 3,304.

Lockdown updates

Italy: The Italian Government extended the duration of the Covid-19 emergency decree to from 31 July to 15 October, according to an emailed statement.

Economy updates

US: It seems that talks between United States congressional leaders and the White House on a next round of coronavirus spending have stalled as the clock ticks down on measures that banned evictions and boosted unemployment benefit payments.

Denmark: Danish firms have been reluctant to tap a government aid package that provides funds to cover fixed costs for those hurt by virus-induced lockdown, the Berlingske newspaper reported. So far they have only tapped 3.1 billion kroner ($500 million) of the 65.3 billion kroner allotted, the report said, citing government data.

9:04 am

Coronavirus company news summary – EC signs a €63m contract with Gilead for remdesivir – Intravacc and Celonic are partnering on a Covid-19 vaccine

30 July 2020 

The European Commission (EC) has signed a contract with US-based Gilead Sciences for treatment doses of remdesivir (Veklury). From next month, batches of the drug will be supplied to EU Member States and the UK. The contract, which is valued at €63m, will provide treatment for around 30,000 patients with severe Covid-19.

India-based Hetero Labs has launched a generic version of antiviral drug favipiravir, under the brand name Favivir, to treat Covid-19 patients in the country. The Drug Controller General of India authorised the use of favipiravir for mild to moderate coronavirus symptoms. Priced at INR59 ($0.79) per tablet, the drug has been made available at all medical retail outlets and hospital pharmacies across India.

Denali Therapeutics has announced that its partner Sanofi has started dosing of a small molecule RIPK1 inhibitor, DNL758, in a Phase Ib clinical trial involving hospitalised adults with severe Covid-19 lung disease. The drug candidate is expected to reduce the exaggerated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and in turn limit potential tissue damage.

Intravacc has partnered with Celonic Group to design, develop and produce a Covid-19 vaccine using an immunogenic Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. The partners will leverage Intravacc’s Outer Membrane Vesicle technology along with S-proteins expressed by Celonic’s CHOvolution mammalian cell expression system.

Argentina has commenced human clinical trials to study the use of hyperimmune serum developed with antibodies from horses for the treatment of Covid-19. Produced by biotechnology company Inmunova, the serum is obtained by injecting a SARS-CoV-2 protein to the animals, noted Reuters.

8:19 am

The US needs to borrow – but lenders may be hard to find

30 July

The global economy earlier lent money to the US enabling the country to manage its public debt.

However, with the majority of the countries facing economic turmoil due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the US may not find lenders so easy to come by.

Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute shared an article on the rising national debt.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent stimulus packages has led to the increase in national debt in 2020 to $4tn.

By 2030, the national debt held by the public is expected to reach $41tn without accounting any additional stimulus packages planned to be announced.

The article questions as to who will lend the government the trillions of dollars, which is expected to create an unprecedented burden.

The Federal Reserve may have to continue buying government debt in the future.

In other news: The US government is considering a proposal to reduce the $600 per week unemployment benefits to $200 per week until October.

Read more

3:59 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Eastern Mediterranean region a hotspot as global coronavirus cases near 16.8 million

29 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,770,000 with over 658,000 deaths and 9,769,000 recoveries

The Eastern Mediterranean region remains a hotspot for Covid-19, particularly in terms of per capita daily incident rates.

Oman is currently averaging more than 250 new cases per day per million population. Many countries in the region are reporting more than 1,000 new cases per day including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Colombia reported over 8,100 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday, its third highest daily incident rate to date.

The country remains ranked as number fifth globally in terms of daily incident rates.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

10:51 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.7 million as deaths exceed 660,000 – vaccine expected by December

29 July

Global: Global coronavirus infections passed 16.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins university. Global deaths from Covid-19 now exceed 660,000.

The WHO says the Covid-19 pandemic is “one big wave”, not seasonal. It warned against complacency in the northern hemisphere summer since the infection does not share influenza’s tendency to follow seasons.

US: Florida reported another record one-day rise in coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark, fuelling fear that the United States is still not taking control of the outbreak and adding pressure on Congress to pass another massive economic aid package.

China: China’s National Health Commission has reported 101 new cases – up from 68 previously – the highest since mid-April. Of the new cases, 89 were found in the far western region of Xinjiang where mass testing is underway.

Australia: Victoria recorded 295 new cases of coronavirus and nine more deaths. It was a reduction of 89 from yesterday’s figure of 384, which in turn was 150 fewer than were recorded in the record high numbers on Monday. Nine people have died, which is close to the national record ten deaths reported in the state last week.

India: Over half the people living in Mumbai slums have had Covid-19, according to a city-commissioned study. Blood tests on 6,936 randomly selected people found that 57% of slum-dwellers had virus antibodies.

Germany: An urgent track and trace operation is underway in Berlin after a couple tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Manchester. 50 people who have had contact with the couple since their return are in quarantine, of whom 13 have so far tested positive.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government is warning authorities in Hanoi to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak. The warning follows local media reports that a person working at a pizza restaurant in the capital had tested positive for the virus.

Japan: Mortality across Japan dropped by 3.5% in May from a year earlier, with the nation recording a total of 108,380 deaths from any cause, data released Tuesday by the nation’s Health Ministry show.

Vaccine news

US: “It’s a reasonable statement to make that by December we’re going to have a safe and effective vaccine,” Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, said on a webcast with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

Lockdown updates

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has sounded an alarming warning over the city’s health system. With the new wave of mostly locally transmitted infections, Hong Kong was “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly”, she said. This came as the city’s strictest anti-virus measures yet came into force today, as it recorded its seventh consecutive day with case numbers in the triple figures and the government faced backlash over its extensive quarantine exemptions.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s government announced it will start charging some travellers for the cost of their two-week stay in quarantine. The announcement comes as the country recorded two new cases of Covid-19, both diagnosed in returning travellers to the country who are quarantined in managed isolation facilities.

New Zealand’s national airline, Air New Zealand, has frozen all new ticket bookings to Australia until 28 August. In a statement, the airline said the hold was due to Australian government restrictions on the number of passengers arriving in the country.

Spain: Spain insisted it was still a safe destination for tourists despite tackling 361 active outbreaks and more than 4,000 new cases. Several countries have nonetheless imposed quarantines on people returning from Spain, including its biggest tourist market, Britain.

Italy: Italy extended its state of emergency until October. This means the prime minister will continue to have the power to impose a lockdown and other safety measures without needing the approval of parliament.

Economy updates

Global: Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and it will take until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the trade association for the airline industry has said.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) is urging the US diagnostics firm Cepheid to “refrain from profiteering off of the pandemic” and cut the price of its Covid-19 tests (Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2) to $5 per test, from the nearly $20 it currently charges in the world’s poorest countries.

US: Republicans and Democrats in the United States Congress are divided over a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package that Republicans announced on Monday.

9:35 am

UK funds six new projects investigating link between Covid-19 and ethnicity

The UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have announced a total of £4.3m in funding for six new projects looking at the disproportionate death rate of people from black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds from Covid-19.

Some of the projects will explore the creation of a new framework to ensure people from BAME backgrounds are represented in clinical trials testing treatments and vaccines for Covid-19.

Chief Medical Officer and Head of the NIHR Professor Chris Whitty said: “With evidence showing that people from BAME backgrounds are more severely affected by Covid-19, it is critical that we understand what factors are driving this risk to address them effectively.

“The diverse range of projects funded by the NIHR and UKRI will help examine this association in detail, so that new treatments and approaches to care can be developed to target the ethnicities most at risk.

“This research will have embedded patient and public involvement with Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups at all stages of the research.”

9:24 am

Coronavirus company news summary – UK Government signs supply agreement with Sanofi/GSK – Roche’s Actemra fails to bring clinical benefit to hospitalised patients

29 July 2020 

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have signed an agreement with the UK Government to supply up to 60 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The companies added that discussions are underway with global organisations, the US and the EU Commission for the supply of the vaccine.

Roche has reported that its Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) drug has failed to meet the primary endpoint of improved clinical status in Phase III COVACTA clinical trial involving hospitalised adults with severe Covid-19 related pneumonia. While the key secondary endpoints were also not achieved, data showed a positive trend in time to hospital discharge with the drug.

Health Canada has granted conditional authorisation to Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir (Veklury) to treat adults and adolescents with severe Covid-19 who have pneumonia and need oxygen support. Remdesivir is the first drug approved in the country for treating Covid-19.

Clinical trials of a second Covid-19 vaccine candidate in Russia have commenced at the Vector Virology Institute in Siberia, according to RIA news agency. The first five participants were dosed on 27 July. The country’s first potential Covid-19 vaccine had already completed an early-stage trial this month and is expected to advance into large-scale trials next month.

Serum Institute of India is set to perform a Phase III clinical trial to assess the ability of its BCG vaccine candidate VPM1002 in decreasing infection and severe disease outcomes of Covid-19. According to the Department of Biotechnology, the trial will enrol approximately 6,000 healthcare workers and people at high risk of contracting the disease.

7:50 am

Why economic stimulus packages need to focus on future growth

29 July

As the US government deliberates on the next stimulus package, experts urge the need for a sustainable fiscal policy that can promote economic growth.

Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, shared an article on his outlook for the US economy.

He noted that policy makers should not repeat the same solutions to deal with the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The solutions should rather focus on promoting economic growth in the future.

The US economy showed signs of recovery in June as retail and home sales increased but later flattened out as lockdown restrictions were re-imposed.

El-Erian noted that the government should offer more money to states to cover the revenue lost due to the pandemic.

He also noted that testing and healthcare should be improved to bring the infection rate under control.

In other news: Unemployment levels have been rising across the world impacting the earnings of the future generations.

Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how the pandemic is expected to impact the earnings of future generations in Canada.

The unemployment rate for youth increased from 10.3% in February to a historical high of 29.4% in May.

The current year’s high school, college and bachelor degree graduates are expected to lose approximately $25,000 or more over the next five years.

Read more

2:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.5 million – five day average increases in Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa

28 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,500,000 with over 654,000 deaths and 9,590,000 recoveries.

The five day average of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases has decreased in the United States, Peru, Colombia and Russia.

However, the five day average of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases has increased in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Iran has reported over 293,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, ranking tenth globally for the highest number of confirmed cases.

The number of deaths per day has been steadily increasing throughout July, and yesterday Iran reported 216 deaths, a 10.77% increase in deaths from the day prior.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

2:00 pm

T-scan isolates T cell targets to support Covid-19 vaccine development

T-cell focused TScan Therapeutics have published data identifying the targets of T cells it isolated from Covid-19 patients. TScan used its proprietary identification technology to map the memory CD8+ T cell response of these patients.

The company has now submitted these findings for review with the aim of supporting Covid-19 vaccine development. Long-term immunity from Covid-19 vaccines requires the conferring of both antibody and T cell immunity.

TScan chief scientific officer Gavin MacBeath explained: “Covid-19 vaccine development efforts have been progressing rapidly, but to date remain largely focused on eliciting a neutralizing antibody response against the virus’ spike protein.

“Because antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 [the virus which causes Covid-19] appear to diminish over time, there is growing concern that if vaccines do not also generate a strong T cell response, they may only provide short-term immunity.

“An increasing body of evidence suggests that the T cell response is important in the defense against Covid-19, and T cells that recognize coronaviruses tend to persist much longer than antibodies.

:In this study, we identified a short list of the most critical T cell targets that could form the basis of a second-generation vaccine, potentially an important follow-on approach to the spike protein vaccines that are currently being developed.”

9:54 am

ExeVir Bio closes €23m Series A round to support Covid-19 treatments

Belgium-based ExeVir Bio has raised €23m in a Series A round led by Fund+. This funding will be used to support the development of ExeVir Bio’s treatment VHH72-Fc for Covid-19.

The company’s VHH72-Fc therapeutic is created using the company’s VHH technology, which leverages single domain antibodies from llamas to construct hybrid llama-human antibodies. The benefit of using antibodies from llamas is that they are smaller than humans so they can attach to more of the coronavirus.

ExeVir Bio CEO Torsten Mummenbrauer said:“We are happy to support the international fight against Covid-19 to support healthcare systems and make our new treatment accessible worldwide. 

“Thanks to this first round of capital, we can accelerate further in the development of our drug candidate: we will start clinical studies by the end of the year. 

“We trust that our antibodies from llamas are the key to saving the lives of patients who can become seriously ill from the corona virus. ”

9:41 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 650,000 – infections near 16.5 million – Google to keep work from home in place until July 2021

28 July

Global: Global coronavirus deaths passed 650,000 as new surges prompt fresh curbs. More than 100,000 deaths have been recorded since 9 July, and the global toll has doubled in just over two months. Infections are rapidly nearing 16.5 million world wide.

The UN says nearly seven million more children will suffer growth stunting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting food supplies. Writing in The Lancet, a team of experts modelled the impact on 118 poor and middle-income countries. They found the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under five would increase by 14.3 percent, which works out to an extra 6.7 million cases.

Philippines: The Red Cross in the Philippines is urging people to be more vigilant as Covid-19 cases in the country jump by more than a thousand each day.

China: Mainland China has reported 68 new cases of coronavirus, with 64 of them locally transmitted. 57 of the local cases were diagnosed in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to state media.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 384 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths in the past 24 hours. On Monday, the state reported a record 532 cases.

Lockdown updates

US: Google employees will keep its employees home until at least July 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported, marking the largest tech firm to commit to such a timeline in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK: Britain’s decision to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling from Spain is unfair, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez said. He added that the Spanish government is in touch with British authorities in a bid to get the country to reconsider its position.

Lebanon: Lebanon re-imposed severe Covid-19 restrictions for the next two weeks. It has shut places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets, after a sharp rise in infections.

Economy updates

South Africa: The International Monetary Fund approved $4.3bn in aid to South Africa to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s finance minister, Tito Mboweni, in June predicted the economy would shrink 7.2% in 2020, its deepest slump in 90 years.

9:16 am

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca and Emergent Biosciences expand their manufacturing collaboration – Pfizer/BioNTech launch clinical trials of their second Covid-19 vaccine

28 July 2020 

Emergent BioSolutions has entered into an agreement valued at approximately $174m to offer contract development and manufacturing services for large-scale commercial production of drug substance for AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222. This expands an $87m contract signed last month.

Pfizer and BioNTech have initiated a global, excluding China, Phase II/III clinical trial to assess safety and efficacy of their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b2. The companies’ first potential Covid-19 vaccine, BNT162b1, is already undergoing human trials.

The National Task Force for Covid-19 in India has denied inclusion of Biocon’s itolizumab in its clinical management protocols for the disease. Earlier this month, the drug received emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India to treat cytokine release syndrome in moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome patients with Covid-19. Biocon intends to provide more real-world data for the committee to reconsider its decision on inclusion in clinical management guidelines.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies has announced that its site in College Station, Texas, US will support manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidate as part of the Operation Warp Speed programme in the country. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) issued a task order that reserves production capacity at the College Station site through the end of 2021.

7:50 am

US fiscal aid delays could make 28 million homeless – countries struggle to control second wave of Covid infections

28 July

Rising unemployment rates, end to unemployment benefits and surge in Covid-19 cases may soon leave people homeless in the US.

Sudeep Reddy, managing editor at Politico, shared an article on how the recession induced by the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a housing crisis that is worse than the 2008 crisis.

Approximately 50% of tenants in the US have been burdened by rent during pandemic.

The situation has mainly resulted because fiscal aid applications for unemployment benefits are not being cleared quickly.

As a result, one third of US households have not been able to make their full housing payments for July.

By October, more than 28 million people in the US may be evicted if action is not taken.

In other news, economist Christophe Barraud, shares an article on how the several countries are struggling to control a second wave of Covid-19 infections and are imposing fresh lockdowns.

Read more

1:50 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 deaths near 650,000 – US records more than 65,000 infections in a day

27 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,264,000 with over 648,000 deaths and 9,407,000 recoveries

The United States, Brazil and India are ranked as the top three countries globally with the highest daily incident cases.

The United States reported over 65,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 900 deaths.

Brazil reported over 51,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 1,200 deaths.

India reported over 48,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 700 deaths.

Russia continues to report a steadily declining daily rate of incident cases.

However, Russia is still ranked as the seventh highest number of daily incident cases globally and the fourth highest confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, reporting over 811,000 confirmed cases.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

10:39 am

UK launches obesity strategy in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic

The UK Government has launched a nationwide strategy to tackle obesity and encourage people to live healthier lives. Obesity is a huge health threat in the UK, something which has only been further emphasised in the Covid-19 pandemic where weight was a big risk factor for contracting the viral disease.

The government’s strategy involves banning adverts of foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) on TV and online before 9pm because of research showing that adverts affect what children want to eat. Other measures include getting rid of buy one get one free promotions for foods HFSS and removing these types of foods from being placed in prominent places in stores.

Also, the UK Government will be expanding NHS’ weight management services supported by online tools. This will involve an accelerating of the NHS’ Diabetes Prevention Programme.

New laws linked with the strategy will require large restaurants, cafes and takeaways to add calorie labels to the foods they sell. A consultation will be launched about whether calorie labelling should be added to alcohol products.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “Everyone knows how hard losing weight can be so we are taking bold action to help everyone who needs it.

“When you’re shopping for your family or out with friends, it’s only fair that you are given the right information about the food you’re eating to help people to make good decisions.

“To help support people we need to reduce unhelpful influences like promotions and adverts that affect what you buy and what you eat.

“Taken together, supported by an inspiring campaign and new smart tools, will get the country eating healthily and losing the pounds.

“We know obesity increases the risk of serious illness and death from coronavirus – so it’s vital we take action on obesity to protect the NHS and improve our nation’s health.”

9:49 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.2 million – US suffers 1,000 Covid related deaths for five straight days as cases pass 4.2 million

27 July

Global: Global Covid-19 cases passed 16.2 million. Cases climbed by over 250,000 for four straight days, with the total deaths currently 648,937, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: The US has suffered more than 1,000 deaths a day from Covid-19 for five days running, as cases surge in southern and western states, the national caseload nears 4.2 million and the death toll approaches 150,000.

Brazil: Brazil has registered an additional 555 deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and another 24,578 confirmed cases, Reuters reported, quoting the country’s health ministry.

India: India has for the first time recorded over 50,000 cases in one day. The Times of India reported that India’s one-day case total was higher than 50,000 for the first time on Sunday, taking the country’s total to 1.4 million cases – the third-highest worldwide.

Mexico: Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 5,480 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 306 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 390,516 cases and 43,680 deaths.

China: China recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday – the highest daily figure since April, propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July.

Australia: Australia saw its highest one-day case increase of the pandemic so far, after the state of Victoria recorded 532 new cases, along with six more deaths of people aged in their 50s to 90s. In addition, New South Wales recorded 17 new cases, about average for the last week. Of the new cases, eight are international travellers in hotel quarantine.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported another day with no new cases of Covid-19 – the third day in a row. All of the country’s 21 active cases of the virus were diagnosed in travellers returning to the country, all of whom are quarantined in government-managed isolation facilities.

Papua New Guinea: Coronavirus cases in Papua New Guinea have nearly doubled in a weekend, with the emerging pandemic threatening to overwhelm the country’s already-fragile healthcare system.

Afghanistan: The number of confirmed infections to Covid-19 has passed 36,000 in Afghanistan as the death toll in Kabul topped 500, amid rising concerns about a second wave of the pandemic over the upcoming Eid celebration.

Spain: Spain’s Covid-19 death toll could be 60% higher than the official figure. An investigation by Spanish newspaper El País, in which reporters counted regional statistics of suspected, as well as confirmed fatalities, reached a total of 44,868 deaths.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 340 to 205,609, Reuters reported on Monday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

South Korea: South Korea’s new coronavirus cases have fallen back to below 30 as imported cases dwindled from a record high over the weekend, according to Yonhap news agency.

Serbia: Serbia has reported a record number of daily cases of the new coronavirus, according to AP news agency. Health authorities said that 467 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the outbreak. They said eight people have died.

Lockdown updates

US: The co-ordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, Dr Deborah Birx, told reporters in Kentucky on Sunday that that federal health officials recommend that five US states – Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia – “close their bars, cut back indoor restaurant capacity and limit social gatherings to ten people,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports, as well as recommending that “100%” of people wear masks when they are in public.

Spain: Spain is in talks with the UK about exempting the Canary and Balearic Islands from strict quarantine rules.

UK: From midnight on Sunday, travellers returning from Spain to the UK have been forced to quarantine for 14 days, following a surge of cases in the country.

Germany: Some 500 workers are in quarantine on a large Bavarian farm to contain a mass coronavirus outbreak, German officials said, as they announced free Covid-19 tests for local residents. A total of 174 seasonal workers have tested positive for the virus since Friday.

Morocco: Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in coronavirus cases, the interior and health ministry said on Sunday.

North Korea: North Korea has declared a state of emergency in a border town over a suspected coronavirus case. State news agency KCNA said leader Kim Jong Un also imposed a lockdown in Kaesong after a person who illegally crossed the border from South Korea displayed symptoms of the virus.

Vietnam: Vietnam will evacuate 80,000 tourists from the city of Danang, the government announced in a statement, following the discovery of four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the weekend – the first cases in the country for 99 days.

Austria: The popular resort town of St Wolfgang, Austria, has ordered restaurants and clubs to close early and urged people to avoid going out as it grapples with a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

Economy updates

Japan: Japan’s economy minister says the government will urge businesses to aim for 70 percent telecommuting and enhance other social distancing measures amid a rise in coronavirus cases among workers, some infected during after-work socialising, Reuters news agency reported.

 

9:00 am

Coronavirus company news summary – SII to study University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine – 21 drugs found to be effective at safe doses against Covid-19

27 July 2020 

Serum Institute of India (SII) has filed an application with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to study a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is being developed by the University of Oxford, in Phase II and III clinical trials. SII is planning an observer-blind, randomised controlled trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate, which is named ‘Covishield’ in India. A total of 1,600 participants aged more than 18 years will be enrolled in the trial, which is expected to begin next month.

Moderna and the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) have updated their contract to include an additional of up to $472m for late-stage clinical development of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate. This brings the total value of the award to approximately $955m, boosting the previous commitment of up to $483m to support scale up and clinical development of the potential vaccine.

Sorrento Therapeutics has entered into a letter of intent to acquire gene-encoded therapeutics company SmartPharm Therapeutics with an initial focus on neutralising antibodies against Covid-19. SmartPharm’s Gene Mab gene-encoded in vivo expression system combined with Sorrento’s SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies is expected to enable longer-acting, single injection protection against the novel coronavirus infection.

Human trials of a second potential Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Siberian Vector Institute in Russia, will commence on 27 July, according to TASS news agency. A clinical trial of the first vaccine candidate in the country, carried out by the Gamaleya Institute, was completed earlier this month.

A study by a global research team led by Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute has revealed that 21 existing drugs could block the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. An analysis by the researchers identified 100 molecules with confirmed antiviral activity in lab tests and of these 21 were found to be effective at concentrations that were safe in patients. Also, four of the molecules had synergistic activity with Gilead Sciences’ Covid-19 drug candidate remdesivir.

8:00 am

US needs additional financial stimulus to recover from Covid-19 downturn

27 July

Additional stimulus to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US will be required over the next few years.

Sectors such as child care have been impacted by the pandemic leaving parents vulnerable to lower incomes in the future.

John Van Reenen, professor at MIT Economics, shared an article on the next stimulus package being considered by the US government.

Although politicians project that the US economy may require $3tn in stimulus, macroeconomists highlight the need to incorporate automatic fiscal stabilisers.

Unemployment benefits under the CARES Act are set to end in July although experts have called for an extension of the benefits.

As jobs are yet to return to normal levels, unemployment benefits are essential to protect households from bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Anthony DeRosa, a journalist, shared an article on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the child care system in the US.

The article notes that the economic impact of the collapse of the system will be visible for the next 20 to 30 years, and that more stimulus was injected to save airlines rather child care.

Read more

1:29 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.5 million – numbers rising in South Africa – increasing infections in nine US states

24 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 15,526,000 with over 633,000 deaths and 8,873,000 recoveries

In the United States, Florida and Texas are both now averaging more than 100 deaths per day and Arizona is averaging more than 80 deaths per day.

Notably, Arizona is reporting more than 1.1 daily deaths per 100,000 population which is more than double the current rate in Florida and Texas.

Other states that continue to report an increase in incident cases are Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

South Africa remains as ranking fifth for the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, reporting over 408,000 cases.

Additionally, South Africa is ranked fourth globally for total daily incident cases.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

11:45 am

UK rolls out widespread flu vaccination to reduce pressure on NHS in the winter

The UK Government is rolling out a more comprehensive flu vaccination programme this year. The aim is to try and relieve pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) in the winter months when there could be a potential second wave of Covid-19.

For the first time, adults aged between 50 and 64 will be eligible for a free flu vaccine; normally, this service is only offered to those aged over 65, with certain pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, and primary school children.

By offering a free flu vaccine to more people, the UK is increasing the number of people who can vaccinated against flu to 30 million. Last year, just over 15 million people in the UK received a free flu vaccination.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “Flu can have serious consequences and vulnerable people can die of it. Having the vaccine protects you, and helps reduce transmission to others.

“This winter more than ever, with Covid-19 still circulating, we need to help reduce all avoidable risks.”

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock added: “We are now taking another important step to help protect the wider public by giving the flu vaccination to more people than ever before.

“This will be the biggest flu vaccination programme in history, and will help protect our NHS as we head into winter.”

10:01 am

Medidata to support Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine trials

Life sciences software vendor Medidata is collaborating with US-based Moderna on clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.

Moderna is planning to launch its Phase III trial of mRNA-1273 in 30,000 patients this month. The company will leverage Medidata’s suite of Rave technology to support virtualisation of the trial to speed up data capture and reduce the need for burdensome patient site visits.

Medidata co-founder and co-CEO Tarek Sherif said: “We are proud to be working with Moderna on these breakthrough trials, which are so important to medical science and the health of our global society.

“The extensive partnership we’ve built together over many years is allowing us to support these critical clinical studies. Clearly, the faster we can arrive at answers, the better it will be for everyone, everywhere.”

Moderna chief digital and operational excellence officer Marcello Damiani added: “We are pleased to collaborate with Medidata.

“Medidata’s unified platform is helping us put participants at the centre of our efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19.”

9:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.5 million – US infections exceed 4 million – more than 633,000 deaths world wide

24 July

Global: There now more than 15.5 million known Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and over 633,000 deaths.

US: The US surpassed four million coronavirus cases on Thursday, after more than 1,100 new Covid-19-related deaths were reported in a single day on Wednesday for the first time since late May.

UK: Former UK prime minister Tony Blair believes coronavirus will not be eliminated. He urged the UK government to focus on containment measures to see the country through a second wave.

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country’s coronavirus cases have risen to over 400,000.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 300 new coronavirus cases and six deaths, a record one-day number of fatalities for the state. Yesterday’s numbers were 484 new cases and five deaths, three of which were connected to aged care clusters.

China: China reported 21 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 23, down from 22 cases a day earlier. Of the new infections, the National Health Commission said 13 were in the far western region of Xinjiang and two were in Dalian city in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The remaining six were imported cases.

Lockdown updates

China: The port city of Dalian in Liaoning province, home to nearly six million people, will introduce a wave of coronavirus testing to stamp out a small cluster of cases, authorities said, with state media reporting communities will be locked down.

South Africa: President Ramaphosa said the cabinet has decided that all public schools should be closed for the next four weeks from Monday with some exceptions.

Japan: Senior Olympic official John Coates has reiterated that Tokyo must stage a simplified summer Games next year with the health and safety of athletes the most important consideration in the planning, Reuters reports.

Economy updates

Global: The devastating economic toll the coronavirus crisis is taking around the world could spark huge waves of fresh migration once borders reopen, the head of the Red Cross warned in an interview with AFP.

Costa Rica: The Central American Bank for Economic Integration approved a $300m loan to Costa Rica to help stabilise the local economy, which has been hit hard by restrictions aimed at containing the new coronavirus.

Turkey: Turkey’s parliament approved a law allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to extend a layoff ban imposed to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

9:01 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DoJ allows drugmakers to share manufacturing capacity for antibody drugs – Dynavax and Medigen team up on a Covid-19 vaccine

24 July 2020 

The UK Government has announced an investment of £100m ($127m) to scale up manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine and gene therapy in the country. The investment will support the new Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre in expediting the mass production of a successful Covid-19 vaccine. Scheduled to open in December next year, the Centre will have the capacity to manufacture millions of doses per month.

US-based Arcturus Therapeutics has signed a deal with the Israeli Ministry of Health to supply its potential Covid-19 vaccine, LUNAR-COV19. A comprehensive supply agreement is set to be finalised within a month. Delivery of LUNAR-COV19 doses to Israel is subject to reaching near term clinical and regulatory milestones and other conditions.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has said that it will not challenge efforts by drugmakers, including Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca and Amgen, to share information to help scale up the manufacturing of monoclonal antibody treatments for Covid-19. In a letter to the companies, the DoJ noted that the demand for monoclonal antibodies against Covid-19 is likely to exceed what one firm could produce on its own. The companies have agreed not to exchange information on the prices of these treatments.

Dynavax Technologies and Medigen Vaccine Biologics have partnered to develop a Covid-19 vaccine candidate with an adjuvant. The partners will leverage Medigen’s stable pre-fusion form of the SARS-CoV2 recombinant spike protein along with Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant. In preclinical studies, this  vaccine candidate produced strong immune responses.

Novavax and Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB) have signed an agreement for large-scale manufacturing of bulk drug substance for the former’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, NVX-CoV2373. FDB’s facility in Morrisville, North Carolina, US has already started producing the first batch of the vaccine candidate.

8:05 am

Unemployment rising in US as bankruptcy threats increase

24 July

The US government is yet to decide on the whether to continue the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

Lack of aid from the government may push companies into bankruptcy and increase unemployment rates, macroeconomic influencers share their views on the Covid -19 impact.

Prof. Steve Hanke, economist at Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on an expected surge in bankruptcy cases in the US due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Decline in consumer demand, social distancing rules and lack of government support is hurting the operations of small and medium businesses.

More than 3,400 companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the first half of the year, with economists warning of more to come once the federal Paycheck Protection Program aid ends.

A Goldman Sachs survey among more than 1,100 businesses has found that 84% of them will not have sufficient cash flow to keep operations going.

Meanwhile, Heather Long, economics correspondent at Washington Post, tweeted about unemployment statistics in the US.

She added that 1.4 million new unemployment aid applications were filed during the last week of July, which is an increase of 109,000 from the previous week.

Long noted the surge in the number of unemployment applications filed is an indication that layoffs are on the rise.

Read more

2:05 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.26 million – five day new case averages for Argentina and Colombia increasing

23 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 15,256,000 with more than 624,000 deaths and 8,670,000 recoveries

Central and South America remain an epicenter for Covid-19.

However, the five day average of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil, Mexico and Chile has decreased.

The five day average of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Colombia and Argentina, on the other hand, has increased.

Pakistan is ranked eleventh globally for number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, reporting over 269,000 confirmed cases.

However, the five day average of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Pakistan has decreased.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:53 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.2 million – Hong Kong facing third wave of infections – Kashmir introduces strict lockdown

23 July

Global: The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 15.2 million on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. Known coronavirus deaths number 623,507.

US: The state of California recorded its highest number of new cases in a single day, as the state surpasses New York for the greatest total of cases in the country.

South America: Brazil and Argentina have both registered new daily records for confirmed coronavirus cases. Brazil confirmed 67,860 cases on Wednesday, while Argentina recorded 5,782 cases. Both countries also reported more deaths from the disease, while Peru added 3,688 previously uncounted people to its death toll lifting the total to 17,455.

South Africa: South Africa on Wednesday announced a record 24-hour increase of 572 coronavirus deaths, bringing its total number of fatalities to 5,940, AFP reports. The country is the worst-affected in Africa and among the top five in the world in terms of confirmed cases, with 394,948 infections reported to date.

Australia: Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews says the state has recorded 403 new cases overnight and five new deaths. The cases figure is down from yesterday’s record increase of 484.

China: China’s National Health Commission has reported 22 new cases of coronavirus on the mainland, most of them in the far western region of Xinjiang where mass testing is underway.

Three cases linked to a seafood processing plant have emerged in Dalian, China, weeks after traces of the virus were found on shrimp packaging in the city. The local government has quarantined and tested employees from two related companies amid concern about virus transmission on food packages.

Hong Kong reported a record 113 new cases for Wednesday, in a continuing third wave of Covid-19 infections, including a large proportion of which are unsourced. In addition, Hong Kong’s government issued a statement on Wednesday correcting the number of imported cases to 11 from eight, making the number of local infections 102 rather than 105.

Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea has called on the WHO for help citing a “high likelihood of expanded community transmission”.

Japan: Around 360 new coronavirus cases were found in Tokyo on Thursday, a record for a day, TV Asahi and other Japanese media reported, as a long holiday weekend began in Japan.

Vaccine News

China: China will offer a $1 billion loan to make any coronavirus vaccine it develops available to countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lockdown Updates

Kashmir: Indian-administered Kashmir imposed a strict lockdown for a week, as authorities warned of rising coronavirus cases, one day after cancelling a major annual Hindu pilgrimage.

Israel: Israel’s parliament approved a bill that allows the cabinet to declare a state of emergency and impose new restrictions with little to no parliamentary supervision.

Philippines: The Philippines is suspending a decision to allow non-essential overseas travel after just one company agreed to provide health insurance to outbound passengers. The country had 72,269 virus cases, including 1,843 deaths, as of Wednesday.

Economy Updates

Global: The United Nations Development Programme proposed the immediate introduction of a temporary basic income that could stem the spread of the virus by allowing the world’s poorest people to stay at home.

South Korea: South Korea’s economy recorded its worst performance in more than 20 years in the second quarter, the central bank said Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic hammered its exports.

US: The New York state legislature on Wednesday passed the Healthy Terminals Act, requiring employers at the largest airports in the state to provide additional wages that can be used to acquire health insurance.

China: Cathay Pacific Airways received another blow as Hong Kong unveiled a policy that threatens to eliminate nearly all travel from the US.

9:09 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Pfizer/BioNTech receive $1.95bn in funding from the US Government – WHO expert warns vaccine unlikely to be available until next year

23 July 2020 

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense have executed an agreement valued at $1.95bn with Pfizer and BioNTech for up to 600 million doses of the companies’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162. As part of the agreement, the US will receive 100 million doses of the vaccine, after Pfizer manufactures and obtains the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval or emergency use authorisation.

According to top-line data reported by India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, the company’s generic favipiravir drug called FabiFlu led to statistically significant faster time to clinical improvement, compared to standard supportive care alone, in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients. On the primary efficacy endpoint, favipiravir showed 28.6% faster viral clearance in the overall population.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies programme head Mike Ryan said not to expect the first Covid-19 vaccinations to be available for use until early next year. Ryan added that researchers are making progress in vaccine development and that there are several vaccines currently in Phase III clinical trials.

The European Union (EU) has decided to cut planned healthcare expenditure to 2027 by 80% and re-route that funding into economic recovery. This decision was made despite the EU facing serious difficulties in buying the analgesics, anaesthetics and resuscitation medication needed to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients, according to Reuters.

7:37 am

How removing unemployment benefits could expose more people to Covid-19

23 July

As economies start to reopen, unemployment benefits announced during the start of the pandemic will soon come to an end.

The abrupt ending of these unemployment benefits along with high unemployment rates could further damage economic recovery.

Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate, shared an article on how ending the unemployment benefits scheme in the US may push millions of workers into poverty.

The $600 per week in unemployment benefits helped workers to meet their expenses.

The benefits scheme is scheduled to expire at the end of July, which economists fear will further damage the US economy.

Without these benefits, workers will cut their spending and may even be evicted from their homes.

Additionally, without unemployment benefits, workers will be forced to look for jobs that may expose them to the virus.

Read more

1:32 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 14,974,000 – Eastern Mediterranean region remains a hotspot

22 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 14,974,000 with over 617,000 deaths and more than 8,486,000 recoveries

The Eastern Mediterranean region remains a hotspot for Covid-19 with four countries- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar- reporting more than 100 daily cases per million population.

Saudi Arabia is ranked number eleven globally in terms of total daily incident cases.

Bangladesh has reported over 213,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and is ranked number nine in active cases globally out of countries that report this statistic.

The number of new confirmed cases reported yesterday in Bangladesh was over 2,900, a 16% increase in new cases from the day prior.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

10:20 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 15 million – concerns over US reporting – Europe could approve first vaccine this year

22 July

Global: The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 14.9 million on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. Known coronavirus deaths number 616,764.

US: California on Tuesday became the second US state after New York to report more than 400,000 Covid-19 cases, according to a Reuters tally of county data. Reuters reports that California has a total of 400,166 Covid-19 cases.

The United States is failing to report vital information on Covid-19. The data would help authorities track the spread of the disease and prevent the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, according to the first comprehensive review of the nation’s coronavirus data.

President Donald Trump rebooted his coronavirus briefings with a warning about a surge in US cases even as he sought to reassure Americans that his administration has the crisis under control.

A new study by the University of Nebraska suggests that Covid-19 can spread through normal speaking and breathing, and travel further than two metres, according to a report by AFP.

Brazil: Brazil has confirmed 41,008 more cases in the past 24 hours, as well as 1,367 related deaths, the country’s health ministry has said.

India: India reported 648 new deaths on Wednesday to take its total to 28,732, passing Spain to rank seventh globally in deaths, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University. The country already ranks third in the number of infections.

Mexico: Mexico reported 6,859 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 356,255, according to data released by the Health Ministry Tuesday night. Deaths rose 915 to 40,400.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported the highest-ever one-day new case total for an Australian state, with 484 in a single day. The rise is higher than Australia’s previous record one-day total, which means Wednesday also marked Australia’s highest cases over the course of the pandemic so far.

China: China has reported 14 new cases of coronavirus, five of them imported and the rest in the far western region of Xinjiang. There have been no new cases of community transmission in Beijing for 16 days, according to state media.

South Korea: South Korea reported 63 more Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, raising the total tally to 13,879, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Vaccine News

Europe: European regulators could approve the first vaccine against Covid-19 this year, after a flurry of trials by drugmakers leading the race showed promising results.

Lockdown updates

Zimbabwe: President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday imposed a curfew and reinstated strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus following a spike in cases in recent weeks. The number of cases recorded in the country rose by nearly a third over the past week to a total 1,713 cases. The number of deaths climbed from 18 to 26.

Qatar: Qatar is relaxing its coronavirus travel restrictions from the beginning of next month. From 1 August, citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to travel overseas and return, while residents will be allowed to return.

Indonesia: Two out of three Indonesians oppose continuing strict social-distancing orders, according to a survey. The government should prioritize efforts to revive the economy rather than tackling virus spread, a majority of participants told pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia.

Japan: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told residents to avoid unnecessary trips outdoors during an upcoming four-day weekend, as the total number of coronavirus cases in the city topped 10,000. The capital had another 230 or more cases Wednesday, Koike said earlier.

Singapore: Singapore is preparing for the resumption of business events such as meetings, conventions, exhibitions and trade shows as economic activities restart, according to a statement by the Singapore Tourism Board.

Austria: Austria is again tightening measures against the virus, dialling back part of its easing in the past few weeks as new infections have surged in various clusters.

Economy updates

Europe: The euro hit an 18-month high and stock markets gained ground after the EU agreed on a €750bn pandemic recovery fund, in a deal closely following reports that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready within months.

US: Senate Republicans are considering whether to cut the unemployment insurance subsidy to 70% of the $600 weekly addition to state-run unemployment programs provided by the last round of economic aid, or pushing for 70-75% of prior wage replacement, a smaller benefit.

China: Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said it reached an agreement with Airbus SE to defer aircraft deliveries as part of its move to preserve cash amid slowing business due to the coronavirus pandemic.

9:13 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Dexamethasone is approved in Japan – SK Bioscience to support manufacturing of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

22 June 2020

The Japanese health ministry has approved low-cost and widely available steroid drug, dexamethasone, for the treatment of patients suffering from Covid-19. The ministry included dexamethasone as a government-approved drug in a recent version of its handbook. This marks the second approval for a Covid-19 treatment in the country, following the authorisation of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir in May.

South Korea-based SK Bioscience has signed a manufacturing agreement with AstraZeneca to support global supplies of the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine, reported Reuters. According to the terms of the agreement, SK Bioscience will manufacture undiluted solutions of the vaccine candidate. The production contract is set to start this month and will run until early next year, with an option for extension based on success of the vaccine development.

Brazil has approved clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, making this product the third experimental vaccine to enter Covid-19 trials in the country. Brazilian health regulator Anvisa previously granted approval for vaccine candidates developed in the UK and China.

8:28 am

Covid-19 driven GDP contractions projected for US and Eurozone

22 July

The US GDP is projected to contract by 6% due to the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foreign direct investment inflows from the US into China continue to rise despite these projections.

Robin Brooks, chief economist at Institute of International Finance, shared a chart on the expected GDP contraction in the US by 6%.

He added that the Eurozone GDP is expected to contract by 9%.

Brooks noted that a larger output gap and deflationary momentum is expected in the Euro zone as a result of the GDP contraction.

Read more

1:37 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 14,729,000 – infections growing exponentially in India

21 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 14,729,000 with over 610,000 deaths and 8,310,000 recoveries

Brazil has reported over 23,000 new daily cases of Covid-19, falling to number three globally behind the United States and India.

Five countries in Central and South America are among the top ten globally in terms of cases, including Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Argentina.

India remains the third highest country with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, reporting over 1,118,000 confirmed cases and over 27,000 deaths.

India has reported its highest daily incident cases to date with over 40,000 new cases and, overall, the daily incident cases appear to be growing exponentially.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:43 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 14.7 million – Brazil to commence mass testing of vaccine

21 July

Global: Global Coronavirus cases have reached 14,707,451 while deaths have increased to 609,986 according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased to more than 3.8 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths rose 0.2% to 140,909.

The US will have to come up with alternative ways to detect Covid-19 infections as the current swab testing capacity won’t be able to meet demand during the fall flu season, the Financial Times reported, citing Quest Diagnostics Inc.

South Africa: WHO warned that South Africa’s growing numbers could be a “precursor” for outbreaks elsewhere on the continent. South Africa has 373,000 cases – around half the continent’s cases. By comparison, numbers in Kenya had increased by 31%, Madagascar by 50%, Zambia by 57% and Namibia by 69%.

Brazil: Brazil’s health ministry has reported the country’s death toll has passed 80,000 and the number of cases is now 2.1 million. It comes as two more Brazilian government ministers said on Monday they had tested positive for Covid-19.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry on Monday reported 5,172 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 301 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 349,396 cases and 39,485 deaths.

Australia: Australia’s southern state of Victoria reported 374 new coronavirus cases. The state has introduced mandatory face coverings from 11.59pm on Wednesday.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported one new case of Covid-19 in a returned traveller. The woman in her 30s arrived in the country on 16 July from London via Doha and Sydney. She has been transferred to an Auckland quarantine facility.

Japan: The organisers of the Tokyo Olympic Games are preparing a day of celebrations to mark a year to the start of the event, which is now due to be held in July 2021 after a year-long delay because of the coronavirus. In addition, the city reported 237 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, in comparison to 168 reported cases on Monday.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 45 new cases of coronavirus. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 20 of the cases were locally acquired, and nine of them came from a nursing home in western Seoul.

China: China is providing free Covid-19 tests to residents of Urumqi in the far western region of Xinjiang after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases there, according to state media. The testing is designed to “effectively lower the risk of the virus spreading,” the Global Times reported the city’s anti-epidemic group as saying.

All air travellers to China are required to provide results of coronavirus tests conducted within five days of their departure, according to a joint government statement on the Civil Aviation Administration website.

Vaccine News

Brazil: Brazil is to start mass testing of a vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac on medical workers from six states, starting at the Clinical Hospital of Sao Paolo.

Lockdown updates

US Governor Andrew Cuomo threatened to close down all New York bars and restaurants if large street gatherings continue and his social distance and mask regulations aren’t enforced.

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the police to intensify arrests and detentions of those who violate government rules on wearing masks and social distancing, as coronavirus cases continue to surge.

Economy updates

Europe: Europe agrees on Covid-19 recovery plan. European council president Charles Michel said the agreement was a “pivotal moment” as heads of state finally thrashed out a deal on day five of their summit. It set out a €750bn pandemic recovery fund and long-term spending plans.

UK: Government borrowing soared to almost £130 billion ($165 billion) in the first three months of the fiscal year amid the towering cost of supporting the economy through the coronavirus crisis. The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that the budget deficit stood at £35.5 billion in June alone, leaving debt at almost 100% of GDP.

Australia: Prime minister, Scott Morrison, has extended Covid-19 job support payments but reduced the size of the payments.

9:12 am

Coronavirus company news summary – AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and CanSino all present positive clinical trial results for vaccinez

21 July 2020 

AstraZeneca has reported positive data from the Phase I/II COV001 clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, which is being developed by the University of Oxford. Early data showed that the vaccine candidate was tolerated and generated strong immune responses in all evaluated participants. Findings have been published in The Lancet journal.

UK-based Synairgen has reported positive clinical data of its inhaled interferon beta candidate, SNG001, for the treatment of patients hospitalised with Covid-19. The therapeutic was found to reduce the risk of developing severe disease by 79%, when compared to placebo. Synairgen added that patients on SNG001 were more than twice as likely to recover.

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162b1, produced dose-dependent SARS-CoV-2-neutralising titers following the second dose in a Phase I/II clinical trial being performed in Germany. The company added that the product for the first time demonstrated a concurrent induction of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses against the virus’ receptor binding domain (RBD).

Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi has plans to increase manufacturing capacity to produce enough doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for 30 million people each year by the end of 2021, according to Reuters. The aim is to triple the domestic production capacity.

In a mid-stage clinical trial, CanSino Biologics’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate Ad5-nCOV has shown positive safety profile and stimulated immune responses in the majority of participants. The vaccine was tested in a total of 508 subjects and demonstrated ability to induce both antibody and T-cell immune responses, without any serious side effects.

7:30 am

Failure of US lockdowns could lead to double dip recession – offshore financial centres have drained resources needed to fight pandemic

21 July

Strict lockdown measures may be needed to control the surge in cases in the US as the country faces the risk of a double dip recession.

Rafael Domenech, head of economic analysis at BBVA Research, shared an article on how a surge in Covid-19 cases may lead to a double dip recession in the US.

Additional federal funding, severe lockdowns and increased spending on Covid-19 testing may be needed to address the surge in cases.

Compared to other countries, lockdowns in the US have not been effective in controlling the surge in cases posing a threat to economic recovery.

Further, the delay in testing with a seven day wait for results is proving ineffective in curbing the spread of infections.

A double-dip recession maybe the worst case scenario if the virus is not brought under control.

In other news, as macroeconomic influencers share their views on the Covid -19 impact, offshore financial centres (OFCs) have contributed to financial instability and drained countries of the resources needed to fight crises such as the pandemic.

Read more

2:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 cases approaching 4 million – infections in India pass 1 million

20 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 14,508,000 with more than 606,000 deaths and 8,134,000 recoveries

The United States remains number one for the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally with over 3,773,000 confirmed cases.

The top five states with the highest total number of cases per million population are New York, California, Florida, Texas and New Jersey.

The top five states with the highest number of deaths per million population are New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Illinois.

India now has over one million confirmed Covid-19 cases, the third highest globally.

Russia has the fourth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally with over 770,000 confirmed cases. However, the five day average for new confirmed Covid-19 cases has decreased.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

1:58 pm

UK launches Covid-19 trial registry to support vaccine research

The UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce has launched a NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry that will facilitate recruitment into clinical trials. The hope is to get 500,000 signed up to large-scale vaccine studies by October.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “A safe and effective vaccine is our best hope of defeating coronavirus and returning to life as normal. 

“We have some of our best scientists and researchers working on this, but members of the public have a vital role to play too. So I urge everyone who can to back the national effort and sign up to the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry to help find a vaccine as soon as possible.

“Every volunteer will be doing their bit towards finding a vaccine for Covid-19 that will have the potential to save millions of lives around the world and bring this pandemic to an end.” 

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty added: “Thanks to COVID-19 patients’ willingness to take part in treatment studies, we’ve been able to identify treatments that work and ones that don’t, which has improved patient care world-wide.

“Now that there are several promising vaccines on the horizon, we need to call again on the generosity of the public to help find out which potential vaccines are the most effective.

“Using a new NHS website developed in partnership between the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NHS Digital, people across the UK can register their interest to be approached to join a vaccine study.” 

This came simultaneously to the UK Vaccine Taskforce stating it had secured access to 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

This comes as a result of signing deals with both Pfizer/BioNTech and Valneva. The UK Government has also negotiated access to AstraZeneca’s treatments, which contain Covid-19 neutralising antibodies and therefore can protect those who cannot receive vaccines, such as immunocompromised patients.

These deals are in addition to an agreement signed between the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce and AstraZeneca for 100 million doses of the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine back in May.

Now the UK will have access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines – adenoviral, mRNA and inactivated whole virus vaccines –  as well as enough vaccine to protect identified priority groups, such as frontline healthcare workers.

9:50 am

Synairgen’s interferon beta drug performs well in hospitalised Covid-19 patients

Southampton-based Synairgen announces positive results from its Phase II of SNG001 in hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

SNG001 is an investigational drug that is also being studied for asthma and COPD. It is an inhaled formulation of interferon beta.

Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden said: “We are all delighted with the trial results announced today, which showed that SNG001 greatly reduced the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients who progressed from ‘requiring oxygen’ to ‘requiring ventilation’.

“It also showed that patients who received SNG001 were at least twice as likely to recover to the point where their everyday activities were not compromised through having been infected by SARS-CoV-2.

In addition, SNG001 has significantly reduced breathlessness, one of the main symptoms of severe Covid-19.

This assessment of SNG001 in COVID-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

“Our efforts are now focused on working with the regulators and other key groups to progress this potential COVID-19 treatment as rapidly as possible.”

Chief investigator of the trial and University of Southampton professor of respiratory medicine Tom Wilkinson added: “We are delighted with the positive data produced from this trial. 

“The results confirm our belief that interferon beta, a widely known drug that, by injection, has been approved for use in a number of other indications, has huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung’s immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery and countering the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

Synairgen and the University of Southampton are also studying SNG001 in the early stages of Covid-19 disease in a unique, at-home virtual trial.

9:32 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 14.5 million – Trump seeks to block funds for testing and tracing as infections soar in US

20 July

Global: More than 14.5 million people have been tested positive for coronavirus worldwide so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. The current total stands at 14,508,892. The death toll is 606,195.

US: Donald Trump is seeking to block billions of dollars in funding for coronavirus testing and contact tracing efforts as cases soar across the US, where around 70,000 people are testing positive each day.

Some of the NFL’s biggest names took to social media on Sunday to express their concerns and anger over the lack of Covid-19 safety protocols as teams prepare to open training camps this week.

Brazil: Brazil reported 23,529 new cases and 716 deaths, both declines from the day before. The Latin American nation, with the second-worst outbreak after the U.S., now has almost 2.1 million cases and 79,488 deaths.

Mexico: 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 early on Monday.

China: China reported 22 new coronavirus cases, according to the People’s Daily, with 17 of these community transmission cases from Xinjiang. China launched mass health screenings in the western Xinjiang province late last week after a spike in cases raised fears of a fresh outbreak.

A record 100 new cases were confirmed in Hong Kong, the territory’s leader said on Sunday, as she tightened social distancing measures, including mandating the wearing of masks in public indoor spaces, to tackle the sudden rise in the number of infections.

South Africa: South Africa registered 85 new deaths from the virus in the previous 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 5,033. A total of 13,449 new infections were also officially diagnosed, taking the number to 364,328, figures released by the health ministry showed.

Melanesia: Papua New Guinea recorded its first Covid-19-related death – the first Pacific island fatality outside US territories and the first in Melanesia – as it seeks to contain an outbreak in the main hospital in its capital, Port Moresby.

Cyprus: Health minister Constantinos Ioannou 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.

South Korea: Imported coronavirus cases continue to rise by double-digit figures, according to the latest figures on Monday. 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.

Vaccine News

UK: The UK said it has secured early access to 90 million doses of “promising” coronavirus vaccine candidates, according to a statement.

Russia: Scores of members of Russia’s business and political elite have been given early access to an experimental vaccine against Covid-19, according to people familiar with the effort, as the country races to be among the first to develop an inoculation.

Lockdown updates

China: Global banks, including Citigroup Inc. and UBS Group AG, are suspending their return-to-office plans in Hong Kong after the city reported a daily record of more than 100 new coronavirus cases.

Italy: Rome and its surroundings could go under lockdown again, a regional health commissioner warned, after 17 new cases were reported, including ten from other countries, according to the Associated Press reported.

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted he can avoid imposing another England-wide lockdown this winter, describing it as a “nuclear deterrent” that he hopes never to use.

Luxembourg: Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said he would impose new restrictions after an emergency meeting on rising cases, saying the nation is not respecting measures to curb Covid-19.

Australia: Authorities in Australia are stepping up their battle against coronavirus with the second biggest city of Melbourne announcing the introduction of mandatory face coverings from Wednesday when leaving the house.

France: France will issue €135 fines to people flouting new mask rules. The French government has announced that it will fine people who flout its decree to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.

Thailand: A meeting led by Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha on Monday will discuss the possible extension of emergency rules beyond the end of the month, as well as the next stage of easing, said Somsak Rungsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council.

Economy updates

EU: The four European Union governments that have been holding up negotiations over a massive stimulus package to reboot the bloc’s economy are ready to agree on a key plank of the deal, two officials said.

Sudan: The United Nations has made an urgent appeal for $283m to help Sudan tackle the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences, as millions in the country face hunger.

Japan: 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.

Salvador: 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 health ministry, Reuters news agency reported.

9:09 am

Coronavirus company news summary – UK signs agreements with two new Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers – Imperial College London advances its vaccine further into clinical trials

20 July 2020 

The UK Government has signed an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for the supply of 30 million doses of the companies’ mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate, BNT162. In addition, the government has entered into similar deal with French company Valneva, which agreed to provide up to 100 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to the UK. These two agreements are in addition to the UK’s existing deal with AstraZeneca, meaning the UK will have access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines.

Gilead Sciences‘ Hong Kong unit has received conditional approval from the country’s Pharmacy and Poisons Committee for the use of Veklury (remdesivir) to treat Covid-19. The company has to submit additional data collected on the safety, efficacy and quality of remdesivir from ongoing clinical studies and post-marketing report to Hong Kong’s Drug Office of Department of Health.

Imperial College London in the UK has advanced its Covid-19 vaccine candidate into next phase of the COVAC1 clinical trial, following the success in initial dose escalation phase involving 15 volunteers. The latest phase of the study will enrol 105 participants aged 18-75 years who will be given one of three doses of the vaccine candidate.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Ethics Committee has provided approval for clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in alliance with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). The trial, which will be performed at 12 sites, will begin enrolment today.

Japan-based Fujifilm is set to conduct a human clinical trial of its antiviral drug Avigan in Kuwait, according to Japan Times. The trial will be performed in alliance with India-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and is designed to assess the drug’s effectiveness in up to 1,000 participants.

8:14 am

Education may face funding shortfalls due to Covid-19 pandemic

20 July

State and local governments are expected to face budget shortfalls due to rising healthcare costs and widespread unemployment rates due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Governments may soon be forced to consider cutting spending allocations in other areas, such as education.

Macroeconomic influencers share their views on the Covid -19 impact.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic may impact government budgets at the state and local levels.

The article notes that government may be forced to cut budget allocations to areas such as education and infrastructure.

Lockdown measures and social distancing have led sharp decline in sales taxes, which is one of the biggest source of revenue for state governments.

The pandemic is expected to result in a budget shortfall of $650bn over the next three years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

Education and infrastructure investments are expected to the worst affected due to the shortfall.

In other news, US Federal Reserve measures to support companies through the Covid-19 pandemic are drawing criticism, according to Edward Harrison, a banking and finance specialist.

Read more

1:50 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 infections climbing rapidly in Peru and South Africa – global deaths near 591,000

17 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have exceeded 13.8 million with over 590,000 deaths and 7,735,000 recoveries.

Peru has surpassed Mexico in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, and now has the second highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in Central and South America behind Brazil.

Central and South America remains an epicenter for Covid-19, with four countries being among the top ten countries with the highest confirmed number of Covid-19 cases.

The number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa yesterday was over 12,000.

South Africa has moved up from the eighth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally to the sixth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

1:28 pm

How a persistent pandemic and prolonged lockdowns will slow economic recovery

17 July

Macroeconomic influencers tracked by GlobalData share their views on Chinese Q2 gross domestic product (GDP), rising unemployment in Australia and the UK threatening recovery, and how Covid-19 remains to be the biggest risk to the global economy.

Stephen Tapp, Deputy Chief Economist and Trade Research Director at Export Development Canada (EDC) tweeted that a prolonged Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest among the top ten risks facing Canadian businesses in 2020.

US-China trade war, global protectionism, and increasing government and corporate debt are among other significant risks EDC has identified.

Covid-19 has inflated the majority of the other business risks facing Canada, adds EDC which suggests Canadian exporters be wary of default risks in emerging markets, especially those already reeling under massive debts.

In other news, lockdowns to fight the second wave of coronavirus infections will be detrimental to economic recovery, opines Ludovic Subran, Chief economist at insurance and asset management services provider Allianz.

Subran expects global gross domestic product (GDP) to fall by 4.7% during the year, but to grow by 4.8% in 2021.

Stimulus measures, both fiscal and monetary, announced so far exceed 1.3 times Chinese GDP, at $1.8t.

In its latest economic outlook, Allianz doesn’t expect global trade to return to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and anticipates the subdued capacity utilisation situation to persist until Q4 this year.

Read more

9:50 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 13.8 million – record daily rise in US – Trump pushes to re-open schools

17 July

Global: There are 13,810,534 known coronavirus cases worldwide. The number of deaths stands at 590,005, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker.

Coronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously short-sighted”, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said, as he asked wealthy countries for billions of more dollars in assistance.

US: The US reported 68,428 new infections in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, setting yet another record for a single-day rise in coronavirus cases.

An official with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the most recent count shows 342 US children and teens have developed a serious inflammatory condition linked to Covid-19 infections.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported a record 428 new cases, ten days into the lockdown of Melbourne. The neighbouring state of New South Wales tightened restrictions on pubs, restaurants and gatherings, as it reported eight new cases, six of which were from community transmission.

Brazil: Brazil has passed the two million confirmed coronavirus cases mark, with little sign that the rate of increase is slowing as anger grows over President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the outbreak.

China: Hong Kong’s coronavirus outbreak is expected on Friday to surpass the magnitude of its earlier waves of infections, in a cautionary tale that the worst may be yet to come in the pandemic.

Urumqi, the capital of China’s far western region of Xinjiang, cancelled hundreds of flights on Friday after the report of its first coronavirus case in about five months fuelled concerns of a potential new outbreak.

South Korea: South Korea reported 60 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours, raising the total tally to 13,672, according to data from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

UK: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to invest £3bn ($3.77bn) into England’s National Health Service (NHS) to try to ward off any resurgence of the coronavirus.

Vaccine News

India: Researchers from the Indian government have been given the green light to study the century-old BCG vaccine’s ability to prevent the severe incidence of Covid-19 in the high-risk elderly population.

Johnson & Johnson is in discussions with multiple countries and a charitable foundation to determine how much of its experimental coronavirus vaccine will be needed. Chief financial officer Joseph Wolk said they are in talks with the European Union, Japan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

UK: The UK has accused Russian state intelligence of hacking international pharmaceutical and academic research in a bid to win the race to secure a vaccine against Covid-19. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said vaccine and therapeutic sectors in multiple countries have been targeted, declining to list the names and number of institutions affected on security grounds.

Lockdown updates

US: Anthony Fauci said many states rushed too quickly to reopen without bringing the virus adequately under control, leading to the resurgence in states across the U.S. south and west.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said: ‘The science should not stand in the way’ of reopening schools. She defended President Trump’s push to reopen schools, despite concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the classroom. “And when he says open, he means open and full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their school,” McEnany noted during her White House briefing.

A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says President Trump’s European travel ban was enacted too late to protect New York residents. “Although travel restrictions are an important mitigation strategy, by the time the European restrictions were implemented, importation and community transmission of Sars-CoV-2 had already occurred in NYC,” the report said.

US Democrats have urged elected leaders and party delegates to skip the national convention in August as coronavirus cases surge, the New York Times reported, in what the paper says is “a sign of the ever-shrinking aspirations for their big campaign event in the face of the spreading virus”.

New York City will not open malls and museums on Monday even if the city is allowed to move into the next phase of reopening, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, promising more crackdowns on bars and restaurants.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a ban on cruise ships through the end of September as coronavirus infections rose across the country, including in the state of Florida.

Mexico: Authorities imposed local restrictions on mobility, commerce, and leisure, particularly in popular tourist destinations, even as the government seeks to revive the battered economy. The country has 317,635 Covid-19 cases and 37,574 deaths.

Spain: Officials said on Thursday that residents in three districts in the Barcelona suburb of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat must stay indoors amid a resurgence in cases. Wednesday saw residents told to stay at home in an area in and around the north-eastern city of Lerida, a measure affecting around 160,000 people. They are allowed to leave to go to work, buy food or medication, or to exercise.

Colombia: Doctors are calling for a return to a strict city-wide quarantine to slow coronavirus infections in the capital, warning that medical services are close to collapsing. The country has reported over 165,000 cases of the coronavirus and around 6,000 deaths.

Denmark: Denmark’s foreign ministry has updated its travel guidelines in response to its latest assessment of the risks posed by Covid-19. The new list includes an easing of guidelines for several regions in Sweden, namely Halland, Kalmar and Värmland.

Israel: The government imposed a new weekend shutdown on Friday and tightened a series of coronavirus curbs to lower infection rates, amid growing public anger over the government’s handling of the crisis, Reuters reports.

India: New restrictions have been introduced in the western city of Pune and other states, including Uttar Pradesh, home to 200 million people, as well as badly hit Tamil Nadu and Assam. The northern Indian state of Bihar, with a population of around 125 million people, started a 15-day lockdown from 16 July.

Indonesia: Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta will remain under social-distancing measures for two more weeks after new coronavirus cases surged since the easing of a partial lockdown a month ago.

Puerto Rico: The governor has announced major rollbacks including the closure of bars, gyms, marinas, theatres and casinos and restricted the use of beaches as the US territory is hit by a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.

Economy updates

Japan: Japan’s agriculture ministry has decided to suspend bids seeking contractors for its “Go To Eat” campaign aimed at supporting eating establishments hit by the coronavirus outbreak, Jiji reports without attribution.

Canada: Canada’s federal government will give the 13 provinces and territories more than C$19bn ($14bn) to help pay for the costs of restarting the economy after several months of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

2:10 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 13.6 million – India records more than 32,000 infections in a day

16 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 13,578,000 with over 584,000 deaths and 7,597,000 recoveries.

India and Russia have the third and fourth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, behind the United States and Brazil.

The number of new confirmed cases yesterday in India was over 32,000 and the number of new confirmed cases in Russia was over 6,400.

Iran has the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Middle East and the tenth highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally.

The death toll has increased from the previous few days with over 199 deaths so far today.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

11:34 am

Economic crisis looms for US due to Covid-19 driven unemployment

16 July

Economic crisis looms in the US, the UK is set to suffer a major GDP decline, and the Eurozone recovery will be impacted by the end of subsidised jobless schemes.

Macroeconomic influencers tracked by GlobalData share the latest updates on the Covid-19 impact on global economies.

Claudia Sahm, a policy analyst, opines that the US government must continue Covid relief measures to the unemployed until they find work and adds that jobless benefits must be enhanced.

Sahm also says that funding for the CARES Act needs to be increased three-fold because economic crisis looms in the US, causing income loss to 40% of American families, some 20% of which have lost the major income earner due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more

8:58 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 13.5 million – US nears 3.5 million cases – rapid rise continues in Brazil

16 July

Global: More than 13.5 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have had the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. US has 3,499,291 cases while Brazil is rapidly approaching 2 million with 1,966,748 cases.

Overall mortality of Covid-19 patients treated in intensive-care units fell to just under 42% at the end of May from almost 60% in March, according to the first systematic analysis of two dozen studies involving more than 10,000 patients in Asia, Europe and North America.

US: California reported a record 11,000 daily cases. California recorded its largest number of coronavirus infections in a single day on Tuesday, amid efforts to halt reopening statewide.

Brazil: President, Jair Bolsonaro, has again tested positive for Covid-19, he told reporters on Wednesday in Brasilia, suggesting he has yet to recover from an infection first diagnosed last week, Reuters reports.

Japan: Tokyo is likely to see coronavirus cases exceed 280 on Thursday – a daily record for the Japanese capital – according to the governor, Yuriko Koike.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported two more deaths and 317 cases on Thursday, the largest daily increase in cases for an Australian state since the start of the pandemic.

Canada: Canada’s efforts to flatten the curve have put the country on the brink of zero deaths for the first time since March, but officials see worrying signs of a new spike as provinces lift restrictions.

South Africa: South Africa surpassed 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases late on Wednesday. The country’s 311,049 cases make up close to half of Africa’s total.

Vaccine News

Global: Eight world leaders, including President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, issued a call for “global solidarity” for fairness in distributing any Covid-19 vaccine that may be developed.

US: Dr Anthony Fauci predicted on Wednesday the country would meet its goal of a vaccine by year’s end, he told Reuters in an interview, saying, “I feel good about the projected timetable.” Fauci’s comments came as US cases increased by a world daily record of more than 67,400, taking the total to nearly 3.5 million confirmed infections.

Lockdown updates

Ireland: Prime minister, Micheal Martin, said on Wednesday night the government continues to advise against non-essential overseas travel, as he announced that a planned move to “phase 4 reopening” had been postponed to 10 August because the country’s reproduction rate – the number of people infected by a virus carrier – had increased to more than 1.

Japan: Officials in Japan are questioning the government’s plans to boost domestic tourism amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the capital.

Spain: authorities on the island of Majorca have ordered bars on popular party streets in Magaluf and Palma to close, for fear that hard-drinking tourists will trigger a surge in coronavirus cases.

Canada: Air Canada tried to persuade the government of Justin Trudeau to ease restrictions on travel, pointing to policy shifts in other nations where the Covid-19 pandemic has shown signs of improvement.

Indonesia: the government plans to fine violators of social distancing rules under a new law as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to contain the biggest outbreak of coronavirus in Southeast Asia.

Economy updates

China: China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter, rebounding more strongly than expected from a historic contraction caused by the coronavirus outbreak, official data showed Thursday. Gross domestic product expanded a surprise 3.2% in April-June, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

1:06 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 deaths approach 580,000 – South Africa, US, Brazil and India report highest infection rises

15 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 13,324,000 with over 579,000 deaths and 7,399,000 recoveries

Countries in Central and South America continue to represent four out of the top ten countries with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Brazil and Mexico still hold the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the region, although the five day average of confirmed Covid-19 cases has decreased.

Meanwhile, the five day average of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Colombia and Peru has increased.

South Africa has the highest number of cases in Africa as well as the eighth highest number of cases globally, and is alongside the US, Brazil and India in reporting the biggest rise of recent Covid-19 cases.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

10:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 13.3 million as cases rise by 200,000 a day – encouraging results as vaccine nears final testing

15 July

Global: Global cases have passed 13.3 million, as cases continue to rise by around 200,000 every 24 hours. There have been 578,628 deaths so far, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The blood from seriously ill coronavirus patients on ventilators was found by researchers to be highly inflammatory and harmful to the body, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday, citing a study by Dutch scientists.

Japan: Tokyo is considering raising its alert for coronavirus infections to the highest of four levels, officials said on Wednesday, after a spike in cases to record numbers in the city.

Australia: The state of Victoria has recorded 238 new cases of Covid-19 and the death of a woman in her 90s and New South Wales has recorded 13 new cases, including ten linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in south-west Sydney which has now affected 34 people.

New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand must prepare for new coronavirus outbreaks as the pandemic spreads globally, but will not drop its elimination strategy if community transmission was discovered.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 351 to 199,726, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

China: China’s National Health Commission said Wednesday that it received reports of six new confirmed Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland as of the end of Tuesday, and all of them were imported.

Mexico: Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 7,051 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 836 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 311,486 cases and 36,327 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

South Korea: South Korea’s new coronavirus cases stayed below 40 for the second day in a row on Wednesday, but imported cases continued to rise, hampering the country’s efforts to contain the disease, according to Yonhap state news agency.

Ghana: More than 300 students and tutors have tested positive for coronavirus at high schools in the West African nation of Ghana, AP news agency reported.

Cyprus: Cyprus is doubling the number of random coronavirus tests that will be carried out on arriving passengers at its two main airports each day, AP news agency reported.

Vaccine News

US: The first Covid-19 vaccine tested in the United States revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported – as the shots are poised to begin key final testing.

Lockdown updates

Global: Cities and states around the world returned to tighter coronavirus restrictions to battle recurring outbreaks, including India’s IT hub Bangalore which was set to go into a new week-long lockdown on Tuesday as the number of coronavirus cases surged.

India: 133 million people re-enter lockdown in India as Covid-19 cases top 900,000. Late on Tuesday, India’s coronavirus cases, the third-highest in the world, passed 900,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The current total stands at 906,752, with 23,727 known deaths.

US: President Donald Trump said in an interview on Tuesday that it was a “mistake” for the two largest California school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, to keep schools closed in the fall.

Venezuela: Venezuela’s capital Caracas will go into a strict lockdown on Wednesday, in a bid to slow its coronavirus outbreak. Much of Venezuela has been shut down since its first case was reported in early March.

France: In France, masks will become mandatory in all enclosed public spaces within the next few weeks, President Emmanuel Macron has said in a major Bastille Day interview. The country is also aiming to reopen all schools for the new academic year under as “normal” conditions as possible.

China: Renewed restrictions took effect in Hong Kong on Wednesday, with restaurants limited to takeout after 6pm, as the Asian financial centre battles a resurgence of the coronavirus, Reuters news agency reported.

 

9:16 am

Economic stimulus plans could slow post Covid recovery

15 July

Global debt levels have been increasing due to the Covid crisis, with those of the G20 economies expected to grow by 120% more than the level seen post World War II.

Daniel Lacelle, Chief Economist at investment services provider Tressis, tweeted his views on the increasing global debt levels due to Covid-19.

He suggests that an increase in public spending through stimulus plans combined with a fall in output could drive the global debt to approximately 105% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Government and private debt together increased by more than 35% of GDP, much higher than the 20% witnessed following the 2008 crisis.

Lacelle opines that the new debt will not help economic recovery but will result in a prolonged recovery since most of it is meant for a cyclical boom rather than targeting the new crisis caused by Covid-19.

He adds that countries that have not fallen into the massive government spending trap have recovered faster.

Read more

8:51 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine found to be safe – AstraZeneca teams up with IQVIA to accelerate vaccine trials

15 July 2020 

An interim analysis of a Phase I clinical trial assessing Moderna‘s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, has found the product to be generally safe and well-tolerated without any serious adverse events reported through to day 57. Adverse events were said to be generally transient and mild to moderate in severity.

A study by professor Yaakov Nahmias at Hebrew University in Israel has showed that an existing cholesterol medicine, called fenofibrate, could ‘downgrade’ Covid-19 threat level to that of a common cold. The findings are based on lab tests conducted on human lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2.

AstraZeneca has partnered with IQVIA to speed-up clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222. This collaboration, which is part of the US Government’s Operation Warp Speed, is intended to accelerate trials of the vaccine in the US by leveraging IQVIA’s Virtual Trial solutions.

Dosing has commenced in a Phase I clinical trial of Medicago’s plant-derived Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate at three dose levels, unadjuvanted or adjuvanted with either Dynavax‘s CpG 1018 adjuvant or GSK‘s adjuvant technology.

1:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 13.1 million – infections still on the rise in the Americas

14 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 13,113,000 with over 573,000 deaths and 7,268,000 recoveries.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in the US, as it remains the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in Central and South America, especially in Brazil and Peru.

Both countries are currently included in the top ten countries with highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The UK has the seventh highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and the third highest number of Covid-19 deaths.

However, both the number of daily confirmed cases and deaths have been decreasing.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:07 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 13 million – cities and states returning to tighter restrictions worldwide

14 July

Global: More than 13 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have had the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The five most affected countries include United States (3,361,042), Brazil (884,967), India (878,254), Russia (732,547) and Peru (330,123).

Australia: In the Australian state of Victoria, 270 new cases of the virus were identified overnight. Staff from the private sector including airlines, telecommunications companies and banks, as well as 1,000 additional Australian defence force personnel, will be deployed to help efforts to contain Covid-19 in the state.

UK: Britain must start “intense preparations” for a second wave of coronavirus that has the potential to kill as many as 120,000 hospital patients in a worst-case scenario, experts have warned. In addition, the British government will announce on Tuesday that people will have to wear masks when they go into a shop from July 24.

US: More than 880 employees of private contractors running US immigration detention centres have tested positive, according to congressional testimony given by company executives.

Japan: Health officials in Tokyo, Japan, appealed on Tuesday for more than 800 theatregoers to get tested after a production starring a Japanese boy band was found to be the source of at least 20 cases.

DRC: Ebola is spreading in the western Democratic Republic of the Congo, with nearly 50 known cases across a region bordering the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

China: The wave of coronavirus cases connected with Beijing’s wholesale market that began in June appears to have been brought under control with no new cases of the disease reported in the Chinese capital for eight successive days.

Lockdown updates

Global: Cities and states around the world returned to tighter coronavirus restrictions to battle recurring outbreaks, as global infections passed 13 million and the World Health Organization warned there were “no shortcuts out of the pandemic”.

US: California’s governor Gavin Newsom ordered all bars to close statewide and all restaurants, cinemas and museums to halt indoor operations, in a dramatic rolling back of reopening efforts as cases continue to surge. The US has reported roughly 60,000 new cases a day for almost a week, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

China: Hong Kong will impose strict new social distancing measures from midnight on Tuesday, the most stringent there since the start of the pandemic, as authorities warned the risk of a large-scale outbreak was extremely high. Hong Kong has also introduced fines for anyone refusing to wear a mask on public transport.

Australia: As cases passed 10,000 on Tuesday, the state of New South Wales also introduced restrictions on bars. The measures are partly in response to a new cluster at a Sydney pub called The Crossroads. New South Wales recorded 13 new cases as of Monday evening, in addition to ten cases connected to the pub.

Philippines: In the Philippines, a quarter of a million people in Manila will return to lockdown in an attempt to stall the infection rate there. With just over 57,000 cases, the Philippines has the second-highest number of infections in south-east Asia. Nearly 1,600 people have died in the country over the course of the pandemic so far.

Mexico: An entire hospital in Mexico’s southern Oaxaca state has been put in quarantine, after 68% of its remaining staff tested positive.

Malaysia and Singapore: are to ease border restrictions between the two countries to support essential business and official traffic, as well as residents who have long-term work permits for the other country.

Economic updates

US: The New York Times reported that about 5.4 million Americans lost health insurance in the pandemic, more than have ever lost coverage through job losses in a year, according to a new study, as the Trump administration ramped up its war with Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top public health expert, over the handling of the crisis.

Singapore: Singapore’s economy suffered a coronavirus-induced record contraction in the second quarter, putting it on course for its worst-ever slump this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) plunged by a record 41.2% in the three months ended March, on a quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Tuesday.

China: Intensive testing of meat, seafood and other products for the coronavirus has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports, raising concerns the delays could ensnare global trade flows.

8:56 am

Coronavirus company news summary – FDA grants Pfizer, BioNTech’s Covid-19 fast track designation – Glenmark lowers the price of favipiravir

14 July 2020 

Pfizer and BioNTech have received fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for two of their four potential Covid-19 vaccines. The designation is based on preliminary results from ongoing Phase I/II studies in the US and Germany, and also data from animal immunogenicity studies.

Swiss contract drug manufacturer Lonza Group has licensed its technology to China-based Junshi Biosciences for the production of a neutralising antibody against Covid-19. Lonza noted that the neutralising antibody was developed using its gene expression system, GS Xceed. The antibody is currently in clinical trials in China.

India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has lowered the price of its Covid-19 drug, FabiFlu, to INR 75 ($0.99) per tablet. The drug, a generic version of favipiravir, was earlier sold at INR 103 ($1.37) per tablet to treat patients with mild-to-moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The company expects the price reduction to enable better access to its drug for patients across India.

Tonix Pharmaceuticals has entered into a new preclinical research and option agreement with Kansas State University for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate using a live virus vaccine vector platform and the CD40-ligand. Under the partnership, the university will be responsible for preclinical development of a live replicating virus vaccine against Covid-19 based on bovine parainfluenza virus.

8:39 am

UK house prices could crash by 30% during ‘Covid crunch’

14 July

As Covid-19 is expected to cause the worst global recession since the World War II according to the World Bank’s analysis, the UK housing prices could crash by 20%-30%, opined Jonathan Davis sharing an article published by Anthony Codling, CEO at property platform twindig.

The article highlights that the current situation in housing is different from that during the credit crunch.

Anthony Codling, a former Executive Director at JP Morgan Cazenove, articulated the housing situation during ‘Covid crunch’ as seller drought and that during the credit crunch as buyer drought.

Despite the seller drought, Codling feels downward pressure on housing prices due to growing fear of unemployment and mortgages getting more expensive and limited as banks step up to protect their balance sheets.

Read more

9:27 am

International Update: Record 24 hour increase in Covid-19 cases – US state of Florida records more than 15,000 infections in one day

13 July

Global: The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were recorded in the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa.

A new report by Oxfam warns that the hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic could potentially kill more people each day than the infection itself, which has claimed more than half a million lives so far.

US: The state of Florida has registered 15,300 new infections on Sunday, the biggest daily increase in recorded coronavirus cases in any US state since the beginning of the pandemic.

Current hospitalisations in the US state of Texas rose by 327 to a new high of 10,410, a record high for the 14th day in a row.

New York City, once the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths on Sunday since the pandemic began, according to initial data from the city’s health department.

Japan and the United States are sharing information about coronavirus cases at US military bases in Okinawa prefecture, a government spokesman said on Monday, after 62 new cases were confirmed at three bases.

Brazil: Brazil, the world’s number-two coronavirus hot spot after the United States, has registered 631 new deaths, with a new total of 1,864,681 confirmed cases, Reuters news agency reported quoting the country’s health ministry.

Mexico: Mexico’s coronavirus death toll passed Italy’s on Sunday, AFP reports, becoming the fourth-highest globally, with at least 35,006 fatalities over the course of the pandemic so far.

Argentina: Argentina has exceeded 100,000 cases of novel coronavirus infections as it struggles to contain spiralling case rates despite a strict quarantine imposed on the capital Buenos Aires and its surroundings.

Australia: The Australian state of New South Wales has recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus in the 24-hours to 8pm last night. Eight of the new cases are connected to a cluster at a restaurant and pub, the Crossroads Hotel. They include five people who had attended the hotel and three of their close contacts.

Philippines: The Philippines’ health ministry on Monday confirmed 162 new coronavirus deaths, the country’s biggest single-day increase in casualties, as a health ministry official said authorities validated some earlier cases included in the tally.

South Korea: One in three South Korean patients seriously ill with Covid-19 showed an improvement in their condition after being given Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral remdesivir, Reuters news agency reported on Monday quoting health authorities.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 159 to 198,963, Reuters news agency reported on Monday citing data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

UK: The UK said 650 more people tested positive, in line with the average 0.2% increase in the previous seven days, bringing the total to 289,603. The death toll climbed by 21 to 44,819.

Lockdown updates

US: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed the administration’s position of opening schools in the fall, despite a heavy rate of Covid-19 infections in many states, in two Sunday-morning interviews.

Spain: Regional authorities in northeast Spain have tightened a health lockdown and confined over 140,000 people to only leaving their homes for work and other essential activities, the Associated Press news agency reported.

South Africa: President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has reinstated a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

State of Palestine: The Palestinian Authority on Sunday imposed a night-time and weekend curfew on the occupied West Bank for the coming 14 days to try to rein in rising coronavirus numbers.

Singapore: Singapore can return to tackling Covid-19 and “other urgent challenges” with the general election over, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post. The country’s cinemas are reopening Monday as part of a plan to ease restrictions.

China: The Hong Kong government will decide on Monday whether it will tighten social distancing measures, Radio Television Hong Kong reported, without saying where it got the information. Any decision would be announced as soon as Monday.

8:48 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Russia completes Covid-19 vaccine trials – Avigan failed to achieve statistical significance in Fujifilm trial

13 July 2020 

Russia has become the first country to have completed clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, after Sechenov University said that it had concluded its study. Data showed the vaccine candidate was effective, reported Russian news agency TASS. The participants will be discharged on 15 July and 20 July and will be monitored on an outpatient basis.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia has awarded provisional approval for the use of Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir (Veklury) to treat Covid-19 patients, marking the first authorisation of a treatment for this disease in the country. The approval enables use of the drug in adults and adolescents hospitalised with severe Covid-19 symptoms.

Thailand is set to advance its Covid-19 vaccine candidate into clinical trials as early as September, after the vaccine demonstrated ability to generate antibodies in monkeys and mice, according to Bloomberg. Chulalongkorn University’s Center of Excellence in Vaccine Research and Development head researcher Kiat Ruxrungtham said that the vaccine could be available by the second half of next year, if human trials are successful.

A clinical trial performed by Japanese researchers has showed inconclusive data from Covid-19 patients treated with Fujifilm’s Avigan drug, reported Reuters. Fujita Health University researcher Yohei Doi said that the drug led to improvement in patients treated early, compared to those who received delayed doses, but failed to achieve statistical significance.

The University of Queensland in Australia has started dosing healthy adults in a Phase I clinical trial being conducted to assess the safety of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, along with the ability to produce immune response. The study will recruit approximately 120 participants aged 18 to 55 years, and the first dose of the vaccine was given at Nucleus Network’s Brisbane clinic.

8:40 am

EU post Covid-19 economic recovery mirage will fade, says US economist

13 July

As the recession induced by Covid-19 affects the world economies, economists recall the situation caused by the 1918 flu pandemic.

Although the June economic data suggests that the US economy has improved, emerging trends suggest that the situation is getting worse again.

However, Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, is upbeat about the recovery in the US compared to the Eurozone.

In one of his latest live shows, Lacalle opined that the economic recovery in the US will be better than that of Eurozone, where the mirage of recovery will fade as ‘demographics, high taxes, and bloated government spending’ work to a disadvantage.

Lacalle believes that US will outperform the Eurozone over the long run despite the temporary setbacks caused by Covid-19.

Read more

10:58 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global cases of Covid-19 over 12,270,000 – record rise in South Africa – further spike in Hong Kong

10 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 12,270,000, with over 555,000 deaths and 6,740,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to rise.

This is primarily driven by high number of cases reported in North and Latin America, and South Asia.

More specifically, the US, Brazil, and India contribute approximately 45% of cases to the global confirmed case burden, and over 40% of deaths to the global death toll.

Cases are rising in Africa driven by record rise in daily new cases in South Africa.

Hong Kong kept the Covid-19 cases under control in the first wave of this pandemic.

However, a spike in new cases caused by local transmission have been reported in recent days, and Hong Kong is planning to suspend all the schools to control the outbreak.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:46 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 12.3 million – US cases rise by almost 62,000 in a day

10 July

Global: There are 12,272,098 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, and 554,989 deaths.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US rose by 61,791 from a day earlier to 3.08 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. It was the first time the number of reported new cases exceeded the 60,000-a-day mark.

Texas reported a record number of deaths for the third straight day, topping 100 for the first time. Total fatalities rose 3.7%, to 2,918. The sharp increase in deaths this week follows a similar upturn in cases about three weeks ago.

The US state of California filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Trump administration rule that could force tens of thousands of international students to leave the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico: Mexico on Thursday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,280 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 282,283, health ministry data showed.

Australia: The Australian state of Victoria recorded 288 new cases – the highest one-day total for an Australian state since the outbreak began. The Australian government decided to cut incoming international passengers, including citizens, by half as well as charging them for their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

South Africa: South Africa announced on Thursday its highest daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 13,674.

UK: The UK has turned down the chance to join a European Union coronavirus vaccination program after ministers expressed concern about “costly delays,” the Telegraph reports, citing unidentified people in the government.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Japan is forging ahead with further steps to re-open the economy even as daily coronavirus cases continue to climb, with local media reporting Tokyo posted a daily record of over 240 infections on Friday.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s government has revealed that a third person has absconded from a managed isolation facility, saying a man cut through a fence so that he could go to buy some alcohol.

Singapore: Singaporeans voted in a general election Friday as the city-state struggles to recover from a coronavirus outbreak. The country has 45,423 active cases. At least 26 people have died.

UK: Recreational team sports are resuming in England, starting with cricket on Saturday, the same day that outdoor swimming pools can reopen. Beauticians, salons and spas can reopen on Monday, followed by gyms and indoor pools on July 25, according to UK government announcements.

China: Hong Kong is set to announce the suspension of all schools after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases, the South China Morning Post reported.

China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens to take precautions against an outbreak of pneumonia in the country that it says is more lethal than Covid-19.

Algeria: Algeria will reimpose travel restrictions on Friday and increase testing in a bid to stop a rise in coronavirus infections, the government said.

9:13 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Moderna signs another manufacturing agreement – Leading vaccine developers to testify to US subcommittee about progress

10 July 2020

Moderna has partnered with European pharmaceutical company Laboratorios Farmacéuticos Rovi for finish-fill manufacturing of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. As part of the deal, Rovi will be responsible for large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing of the vaccine product at its facility in Madrid, Spain. This is expected to support manufacturing of millions of doses of mRNA-1273 to supply primarily in markets outside of the US.

Altimmune has signed an agreement with DynPort Vaccine to support US Government funding efforts for the development of its intranasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AdCOVID. If successful, the partnership will be extended to programme management, drug development and regulatory support for the vaccine candidate.

Officials from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna are set to testify at a remote hearing to be held on 21 July by the US Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee regarding progress on their Covid-19 vaccine development efforts. The officials will also discuss their ongoing preparations for manufacturing and distribution.

African Union Commission has introduced the new Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Consortium for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial (CONCVACT) to ensure access to a safe vaccine against the disease in Africa. CONCVACT intends to secure more than ten late-stage vaccine trials at the earliest. This announcement comes a day after the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched a new clinical trials network for testing potential vaccines and monoclonal antibodies against Covid-19.

7:18 am

FDI projected to contract by at least 30% due to Covid-19

10 July

The Covid-19 pandemic has undone years of economic globalisation as foreign direct investments have been disrupted like never before.

Developing countries are the most affected as foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows are expected to drop below the global average.

As the recovery from the pandemic prolongs and FDI inflows drop, developing countries are expected to lose export revenues consequently impact employment opportunities.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the flow of global FDI.

The article notes that developing countries are expected to be the worst affected due to this disruption of FDI.

The pandemic led to a capital outflow of $83bn in late March from developing countries, which is the largest ever recorded.

Further, global FDI flows are projected to contract by 30%-%40 between 2020 and 2021.

All sectors are expected to be affected particularly airlines, leisure, and restaurants.

Read more

9:37 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases total 12,043,922 – record daily rises in Mexico and Argentina

9 July

Global: Covid-19 infections have passed 12 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 12,043,922 currently confirmed.

The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw US membership from the World Health Organization (WHO) could have life-threatening consequences for people around the globe, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, or MSF.

US: The US has surpassed three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. It said there have been 132,309 deaths among the total of 3,055,101 cases.

US Vice-President Mike Pence urged schools to reopen despite the pandemic, echoing comments from Trump. During a White House coronavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, Pence said: “It’s time for us to get our kids back to school.” But many school officials are expressing doubts about their ability to safely reopen their doors.

President Trump threatened to withhold funding from schools that don’t reopen. The president also criticised the school reopening guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “very tough” and “expensive.”

Brazil: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed provisions of a law requiring government to provide drinking water, disinfectants and guaranteed hospital beds to indigenous communities amid the pandemic.

Mexico: Mexico has posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections, overtaking Spain to register the world’s eighth highest case count, according to a Reuters news agency tally.

Argentina: Argentina has posted a daily record of 3,604 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The sharp rise, the first time daily cases have surpassed 3,000, took the total number to 87,030, fivefold the number at the start of June, though still well below caseloads in Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Chile: The number of coronavirus cases has passed the 301,000 mark in Chile, according to the Johns-Hopkins University tracker. The figure is currently 301,019, which is the sixth-highest in the world after the US, Brazil, India, Russia, and Peru.

Iran: Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased.

Japan: Tokyo has recorded 224 new cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, according to the public broadcaster NHK, surpassing the Japanese capital’s previous record of 206 infections on April 17.

Nigeria: Nigeria’s confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed passed 30,000, Reuters reported quoting the country’s disease control centre, as the virus spreads in Africa’s most populous country amid an easing of restrictions put in place to curb the disease.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 50 new cases of the coronavirus as new clusters continue to emerge across the country, AP news agency reported.

China: China says it has nine new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought from outside the country, and no new deaths, AP news agency reported.

The Chinese Government has announced that it is seeking international cooperation to conduct research projects on drugs, vaccines, test kits, and even traditional Chinese medicine to fight the coronavirus.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has found at least 47 new locally-transmitted virus cases as of 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, HK01 reported. That topped the previous record of 28 daily local cases set in March. At least ten of the latest batch of cases were of unknown origin, HK01 said, indicating that authorities may struggle to contain the current outbreak.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has re-entered lockdown, as the state of Victoria struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has seen daily cases rise by over 100 for several days.

Italy: Italian authorities stopped 125 Bangladeshi people from entering the country today after they landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on a flight from Qatar. Yesterday, Italy suspended flights from Bangladesh for a week after 36 people who arrived in Rome on a flight the day before tested positive for coronavirus.

Austria: Austria’s government has announced travel restrictions for fellow EU members Romania and Bulgaria after a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in both countries.

Economy updates

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the European Union not to waste time in agreeing on a recovery plan to pull the continent out of a historic recession caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Merkel said she hoped to see a deal before the summer break on a proposed €750bn recovery plan.

UAE: Business conditions in Dubai showed signs of picking up in June as the city reopens after a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

 

 

8:42 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Gilead studies an inhaled formulation of remdesivir – EC signs supply deals for Merck and Roche’s Covid-19 drugs

9 July 2020 

Russian pharmaceutical company R-Pharm has secured regulatory approval for the use of its antiviral drug Coronavir to treat Covid-19 patients. The approval comes after a clinical trial in mild to moderate Covid-19 patients showed that the drug is highly effective in blocking replication of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease.

Emergent BioSolutions has partnered with the Mount Sinai Health System and ImmunoTek Bio Centers for the development, manufacture and clinical testing of its hyperimmune globulin product, COVID-HIG, against Covid-19. The partners will conduct a post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) study in high-risk populations, with $34.6m funding support from the US Department of Defense.

Researchers in India and the US are planning to perform joint clinical trials to assess Ayurveda formulations as potential Covid-19 treatments. Following a call from the Indo-US Science Technology Forum (IUSSTF), several proposals were received for joint Covid-19 research. These proposals are currently being reviewed by experts in both countries.

The European Commission (EC) has signed separate deals with Roche and Merck for the supply of investigational Covid-19 drugs, according to Reuters who cited an EC source. The deals, which involve Roche’s arthritis drug RoActemra and Merck’s multiple sclerosis drug Rebif, will see supplies to any of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.

Gilead Sciences has launched a Phase Ia clinical trial of an inhaled version of its experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir. The trial will assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of the new formulation in about 60 healthy participants aged 18-45 years in the US.

French Osivax has secured more than €30m in public funding for the development of universal vaccines against coronavirusesE and influenza. The company noted that its oligoDOM technology allows the development of vaccines that could protect against all viral influenza strains. The same approach will be used to develop a universal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and other future coronavirus strains.

8:28 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 12 million – numbers rising fast in US, India and Brazil

9 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 12,042,000, with over 550,000 deaths and 6,590,000 recoveries.

Daily confirmed cases continue to rise rapidly across the world driven mainly by the US, Brazil and India which are reporting high number of daily new cases.

Latin and North America remains the most affected region as Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and the US contribute roughly 47% to the total confirmed case burden in the world.

Cases are in gradual decline in the majority of European countries.

South Asia which includes countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is one of the most populous areas in the world.

As these countries are reporting high numbers of new daily cases, with no indication that cases will decline in the near future, South Asia could be the next global pandemic hotspot after Latin America.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

7:28 am

Covid-19 pandemic could shift the balance of economic power

9 July

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the weaknesses of various countries in responding to a disaster of such as a viral outbreak.

China has been quick in controlling the outbreak, while other countries are yet to bring it under control.

The quick spread of the pandemic and inability to bring it under control led a series of blame games and rivalries among some of the biggest nations.

As China quickly recovers, the balance of power may shift post-pandemic.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist and consultant, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is aggravating existing rivalries and blame games between nations.

The article notes that in the differences in economic and demographic growth is expected to shift the balance of power from the west to the east.

The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in the European Union (EU), while intensifying the rivalries between the US, China and Russia.

Read more

2:46 pm

CSIRO and University of Melbourne to screen two Reece anti-virals for Covid-19

Australian anti-infective-focused company Reece Pharmaceuticals has entered two of its anti-viral candidates into the University of Melbourne’s The Peter Doherty Institute and The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Covid-19 screening programme.

RECCE327 and REECE529 have been selected by the CSIRO for screening – they have been deemed to be Priority 1 candidates, which means they are deemed to be most likely to have antiviral or antiseptic efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

Reece non-executive chairman Dr. John Prendergast commented: “We are very pleased to have been selected by the CSIRO, one of the largest and most diverse scientific research organisations in the world, to investigate the efficacy of two of our promising compounds against SARS-CoV-2.

“The compounds’ unique, universal mechanisms of action indicate potential to attack a broad range of viruses and as well, overcome the threat of viruses’ typical hyper-mutation into new and deadly pathogens.”

The aim of the CSIRO and Doherty Institute’s programme is to identify and quickly advance promising anti-virals into R&D for Covid-19. Promising candidates from the screening process will progress into in vitro pre-clinical studies by CSIRO’s pathogens team.

1:52 pm

CEPI expands Covid-19 vaccine alliance with Clover Biopharmaceuticals

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has expanded its collaboration with China-based Sichuan Clover Biopharmaceuticals to speed-up the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

As part of the expanded alliance, CEPI will provide an additional $66m upfront for immediate funding of preclinical studies, to carry out Phase I clinical trials and prepare sites worldwide for an efficacy trial.

The investment will also support scaling up of Clover’s manufacturing capacity to potentially produce millions of doses annually.

Read more here

11:29 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases increasing by 200,000 a day – US deaths pass 131,000 – UK to reveal mini budget

8 July

Global: There are nearly 11.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The WHO says coronavirus cases are increasing by 200,000 a day, doubling from April and May. The WHO emergencies chief said that the number of Covid-19 deaths appeared to be stable for the moment, but he cautioned that there is often a lag time between when confirmed cases increase and when deaths are reported due to the time it takes for the coronavirus to run its course in patients.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

US: Known US coronavirus cases stand at almost three million, with 2,911,888 currently confirmed on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country’s death toll has passed 131,000 following a massive surge of new cases that has derailed efforts to restart the economy.

The US state of California has reported a record daily rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus – some 10,201 cases.

The US will withdraw the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 July 2021 under a 1948 joint resolution of the US Congress, which also obliges Washington to pay financial support. Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger for the presidency, said he would return the US to the WHO once elected.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19. He said he began feeling ill on Sunday and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against Covid-19. In addition, the country has recorded another 1,312 deaths and more than 48,000 new cases.

UK: Scientists at University College London are warning of the risk of brain damage from coronavirus. UCL researchers studied 43 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, stroke, nerve damage or other serious effects on their brain, and say the disease can lead to severe neurological complications including psychosis and delirium.

India: Mumbai will no longer require a doctor’s prescription from people seeking a test for coronavirus, as India’s largest city and the epicenter of its outbreak seeks to catch more cases early.

Japan: Tokyo has confirmed more than 100 virus cases for six straight days, yet there’s no sign a new state of emergency will be announced.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australia’s coronavirus emergency cabinet will consider limiting the number of its citizens and residents returning home from overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. The prime minister added there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, enforced stay-at-home rules in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.

New Zealand: Officials are reviewing security at mandatory quarantine hotels after a man who tested positive for Covid-19 escaped and spent an hour wandering city streets.

Israel: Israel’s public health director has quit amid a spike in new coronavirus cases, saying the country had been too hasty to reopen its economy and had lost its way in dealing with the pandemic.

Economy updates

UK: Britain is to unveil a mini-budget to kickstart the UK economy, hoping costly infrastructure investment will help build its way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to deliver his spending plans at 1130 GMT, having already flagged £3 billion ($3.7 billion, €3.3bn) of green investment.

Malaysia: Auditors for AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s biggest low cost carrier, have warned there is risk to the airline’s ability to continue in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

11:14 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 11.8 million – US infections reach 2.99 million as the rise continues

8 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 11,840,000, with over 544,000 deaths and 6,340,000 recoveries.

Daily confirmed cases continue to rise across the world.

The total confirmed cases in the US cases have now reached nearly three million and  will continue to rise rapidly in the near future.

Brazil and India which are the second and third most affected countries are also reporting high number of daily new cases.

In the majority of countries in Europe, cases are in decline although localized outbreaks have been reported in some countries.

Israel was one of the few countries which kept the Covid-19 cases under control in the first wave of this pandemic.

However, cases have started to spike in the recent days cancelling the earlier achievement and the country has re-imposed a lock-down.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

8:45 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Regeneron receives $450m from US Government for antibody cocktail – GSK signs vaccine deal with Medicago

8 July 2020 

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has partnered with Canadian biopharmaceutical firm Medicago to develop, assess and manufacture a plant-based adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidate. As part of the collaboration, GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system will be combined with Medicago’s recombinant Coronavirus Virus-Like Particles (CoVLP). The companies expect to complete development and make the vaccine available in the first half of next year.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has received a $450m contract from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Department of Defense to manufacture and supply its antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, designed to act against Covid-19. The company has already started scaling up the therapy’s production and this contract is intended to enable continued manufacturing.

Corvus Pharmaceuticals has launched a Phase I clinical trial to assess a new immunotherapy, which is designed as an agonistic humanised monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The first cohort of five participants in the trial was treated at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. A total of up to 30 patients will be enrolled at various sites in the US.

7 Hills Pharma has reported that its oral immunostimulant candidate, 7HP349, significantly increased IgG binding antibodies with a Covid-19 vaccine candidate in preclinical studies. The company added that 7HP349 enhances a vaccine’s effectiveness, as well as accelerates immune system response. The immunostimulant can be used with any Covid-19 vaccine, added 7 Hills Pharma.

7:33 am

Pandemic driven job losses ten times times higher than 2008 banking crisis

8 July

Unemployment rates have reached unprecedented levels globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of the pandemic on jobs is ten times higher than the 2008 global financial crisis.

Despite the job retention schemes and unemployment benefits offered by governments, unemployment rates are not expected to recover until after 2021.

Miles Corak, professor of economics at The Graduate Center, shared statistics related to the job retention schemes implemented across various countries from an article published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The article details how the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a collapse in economic activity and increasing unemployment rates, which is expected to reach 12% globally and 10% for OECD countries by the end of 2020.

Corak noted that these job retention programmes have not succeeded in Canada as businesses have not adopted them.

He added that temporary layoffs are turning into permanent layoffs resulting in an increase in the duration of unemployment and decline in earnings.

In other news, Fausto Panunzi, professor of economics at the University of Bocconi, shared an article on the revival of pawnshops in Italy.

With banks declining to extend loans and government aid packages set to end next month, Italians are turning to pawnshops for loans.

Read more

21 Mar:

First death in Singapore, Israel

– Singapore’s health ministry confirmed the first two deaths in a 75 year-old female national and a 64 year-old man from Indonesia. The country has at least 385 confirmed cases.

– Israel’s first death from the coronavirus is an 88-year-old man with other illnesses. The country reported 705 cases so far.

Papua New Guinea confirms first case

– Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape confirmed the country’s first COVID-19 case.

– The patient is a 45-year-old mine worker who arrived from Spain via Singapore.

– The country banned all international flights for one week starting on 22 March.

US vice president’s staff member tests positive

– The White House reported that a member of Vice President Mike Pence’s staff tested positive.

– Pence’s spokeswoman said that the staff member did not have ‘close contact’ to the vice president or President Donald Trump.

– According to the CDC, the US has 15,268 cases and 201 deaths.

New Zealand introduces new alert system

– New Zeland Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern placed the country at two on a four-level COVID-19 alert system.

– People have been asked to avoid non-essential travel within the country and those aged above 70 have been advised to stay at home.

– The nation confirmed 13 new cases to total 52. The health ministry said that community transmission could not be ruled out among the new cases.

South Korea records 147 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 147 new cases, which take the total to 8,799.

Eighth Diamond Princess death

– Japan’s health ministry reported that a Canadian national who was on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship died of COVID-19.

– This marks the eighth coronavirus death among the cruise passengers.

New deaths, cases in Turkey

– The number of cases in Turkey increased to 670 from 359 a day earlier. Also, the total fatalities in the nation reached nine.

China’s Wuhan reports no new cases

– China’s Wuhan city and its Hubei province registered no new cases for the third day in a row as of 20 March. However, the province saw seven deaths, of which six are in Wuhan.

– The mainland China reported 41 new cases, all of which were imported.

– China has a total of 81,008 cases and 3,255 deaths. A total of 71,740 patients had been declared cured and released from hospital.

Death toll tops 11,300

– The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus exceeded 11,300 globally while the total infections increased to more than 275,400, as of end of 20 March.

– Meanwhile, the number of worldwide recoveries exceeded 88,200.

20 Mar:

UK closes pubs, cafes and bars, and announces other measures

– In his daily briefing, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that cafes, pubs, and bars to close, as well as shops, theatres and leisure centres, are to close to protect public health.

– The government are deferring taxes to the end of the financial year, as well as waiving VAT for some businesses. It will also provide a job retention scheme to pay 80% of wages for those who cannot work due to the pandemic.

Syria bans visitors

– Syria banned entry of visitors from multiple countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The government said that the cases in the nation remain zero.

Cases in Mexico cross 200

– Mexico’s health ministry reported that the total number of cases in the country increased from 164 to 203.

UK reports 33 new deaths; total 177

– The death toll in the UK increased by 33 to 177.  The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 3,983.

Germany cases jump to 13,957

– Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported that the number of cases surged by 2,958 to 13,957.

– The number of deaths increased by 11 to 31.

Spain’s deaths cross 1,000

– The death toll in Spain increased to 1,002 from 767, said the country’s health emergencies chief Fernando Simon .

– The number of cases jumped to 19,980 from 17,147 on Thursday.

Cape Verde, Madagascar confirm first case 

– Cape Verde reported its first coronavirus case in a 62-year-old British national who arrived on 09 March.

– Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina confirmed the country’s first three cases.

Cases in Ireland reach 557

– The total number of cases in Ireland increased to 557 from 366 the previous day.

– According to the health department, this is the highest daily jump so far.

Qatar confirms eight new cases; total 460

– Qatar has confirmed eight new cases, taking the overall tally to 460.

– The health ministry approved home quarantine as a second option for families arriving from overseas, after passing mandatory medical examination.

New deaths and cases in Iran

– Iran reported 149 new deaths, taking the total to 1,433 amid, while the  confirmed cases neared 20,000.

Cases rise in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines

– The number of cases in Taiwan increased to 135, including two deaths.

– Indonesia cases jumped to 369, with 32 fatalities.

– Hong Kong’s cases surged to 256, while the Philippines recorded 230 cases and 18 deaths.

South Africa cases reach 202

– South Africa’s Health Minister Zweli Mkhize reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 202.

130 new cases in Malaysia

– Malaysia registered 130 new cases, bringing the total to 1,030.

– Of the new cases, 48 are traced to a religious gathering of around 16,000 participants near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

– More than 670 cases in Southeast Asia have been linked to this gathering in Malaysia.

Singapore sees 40 new cases

– With 40 new confirmed cases, the tally in Singapore increased to 385. Majority of the new cases are said to be imported from the UK.

Belgium cases top 2,000

– The number of cases in exceed 2,000 to total to 2,257, while the number of deaths surged to a total of 37.

Fifth death, new cases in India

– India reported its fifth death while the total confirmed cases increased to 224, including one case from Punjab.

South Korea reports 87 new cases

– South Korea confirmed 87 new cases and three additional deaths, bringing its totals to 8,652 cases and 94 deaths.

No new cases in Wuhan for second day

– China’s epicentre, Wuhan city in Hubei province, recorded no new cases of infection for two consecutive days as of 19 March.

Death toll crosses 10,000 worldwide

– The COVID-19 death toll has crossed 10,000 across the world, as of the end of 19 March.

– The total number of infected people has increased to 244,000 while the recoveries stand at 86,000.

Italy’s death toll crosses China’s

– The death toll in Italy stands at 3,405, surpassing the number of deaths in China which stands at 3,252.

– The total confirmed cases in Italy stands at 41,035, more than half of that in China which stands at 81,193.

19 Mar:

Deaths in France reach 372

– French health reported an increase in death toll by 108 to total 372, representing a surge of around 40%.

– The number of cases jumped to 10,995, a 20% rise in 24 hours.

Israel orders stay at home

– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tightened a nation-wide stay-at home policy to control coronavirus spread.

– The country confirmed 573 cases to date.

Croatia registers first death

– Croatia reported its first death in a 70-year-old man. The country confirmed 102 cases to date.

Chad reports first case

– Chad government reported its first case in a Moroccan national who arrived from Cameroon.

Iran reports 1,284 deaths

– Iran reported that COVID-19 is claiming one life every ten minutes in the country, raising its toll to 1,284, said health ministry in a tweet.

– The number of infections in the nation increased to 18,407.

Brazil death toll reaches six

– Brazil reported deaths of two elderly patients in Rio de Janeiro, increasing the toll in the country to six. The country registered nearly 430 cases.

Cambodia confirms 47 cases

– Cambodia reported ten new cases, taking its total to 47. The country will ban entry for all international travellers from midnight on Monday.

Greece has 464 cases

– Greece confirmed 464 cases and recorded six deaths, according to a health ministry official.

Mexico reports first death

– Mexico reported its first death as a 41-year-old citizen who was suffering from diabetes. The number of cases in the country jumped by 27% in the last 24 hours to 118 from 93.

US CDC confirms nearly 10,500 cases

– US CDC reported 3,404 new cases to total 10,491 infections. The country reported its biggest daily jump in death toll from around 55 to 150.

– California governor ordered its 40 million residents to stay at home starting tonight.

Bank of England cuts interest rates to 0.1%

– In a second emergency cut since the outbreak began, the Bank of England has reduced interest rates to 0.1% in an attempt to limit the economic impact of the virus.

Spain records 200 new deaths

– With 209 additional deaths, Spain’s death toll increased to 767.

– A surge of approximately 25% increased the total cases in the country to 17,147.

First death in Russia

– Russia’s first casualty was a a 79-year-old woman in Moscow with underlying health issues.

– The country has reported 199 cases so far.

Fourth death, new cases in India

– India has confirmed its fourth Covid-19 death, while the number of infections increased to 184.

– The country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for  citizen curfew on 22 March.

Thailand reports 60 new cases

– Thailand confirmed 60 new cases in the biggest daily jump, taking its total to 272. The country registered one death to date.

Malaysia reports 110 new cases

– Malaysia reported 110 new cases to total 900. Majority of the new cases were linked to a religious gathering by 16,000 people at a mosque.

UK’s MHRA commits to prioritise and support Covid-19 clinical trial applications

– The UK’s healthcare regulator The Medicines and Healthcare products (MHRA) has declared it will prioritise assessments of Covid-19 clinical trials, as well as providing rapid advice to manufacturers and other regulators.

– This builds upon the MHRA’s response to previous outbreaks, such as Ebola.

Mauritius registers first three cases

– Mauritius reported its first three cases, including two who worked on cruise ships and one who returned from the UK.

South Korea has 152 new cases

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 152 new cases, taking the total to 8,565.

– South Korea had confirmed fewer than 100 new cases for four consecutive days until Wednesday.

World Bank increases response package to $14bn

– The World Bank has increased its support package for businesses and economies to $14bn.

Wuhan and Hubei report no new cases

– China’s epicentre of the outbreak, Wuhan, and its Hubei province have reported no new cases for the first time.

Death toll rises to 8,800

– The death toll due to COVID-19 coronavirus has increased to 8,809 as of the end of 18 March.

– The total confirmed cases has passed 218,000 worldwide while recoveries stand at 84,000.  

UK deaths rise to 103

– The death toll in the UK increased from 71 to 103, including a total of more than 2,640 cases.

California governor says 60,000 homeless could contract COVID-19

– California, US governor said that according to models more than 60,000 homeless people in the state could contract the novel coronavirus over the next eight weeks.

– The US has more than 9,400 cases and 150 deaths so far.

18 Mar:

Portugal declares emergency

– Portugal declared 15-day state of emergency to combat coronavirus. The number of cases in the country neared 650.

Italy reports 475 more deaths

– The death toll in Italy increased by 475 to 2,978, a surge of 19%.

– The total number of cases jumped by 31,506 to to 35,713, up 13.35%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

Swiss cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Switzerland has jumped to 3,028, including 21 deaths.

France reports 89 new deaths; total 264

– France confirmed 89 new deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 264. The number of cases in the nation reached 9,134.

Cases in Singapore reach 313

– Singapore’s health ministry reported 47 new infections to total 313.

– Starting Friday, the country will impose self-quarantine measures for 14 days on everyone entering, as well as citizens and residents.

Second death in Turkey

– Turkey confirmed its second death in a 61-year-old male. The first fatality occurred on Tuesday.

– With 93 new cases, the nation’s total increased to 191.

Cases in Spain reach 13,716

– Spain health emergency center head Fernando Simon said that the country’s total cases surged to 13,716, including 558 deaths.

Iran’s death toll rises to 1,135

– With 147 new fatalities, Iran’s death toll jumped to 1,135.

– The total infections in the nation had reached 17,361, with 1,192 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Austria announces 38bn aid package

– Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced up to 38bn aid to secure jobs and ensure coronavirus affected companies remain liquid.

– The country is also offering 9bn in guarantees and warranties, 15bn in emergency aid and 10bn in tax deferrals.

Study says initial infections on Diamond Princess came from food worker

– In a study published by the CDC, it was found that the initial cases of the COVID-19 on the cruise ship came from food workers.

– It stated that of the 20 confirmed cases of crew members, 15 were from food service members.

– Malta will stop all incoming passenger flights from Saturday to prevent spread. The country has 38 cases, of which 32 contracted the infection abroad.

– Malaysia closed its borders with Singapore, starting 14-day partial lockdown as the number of infections in the country reached 673.

Kyrgyzstan, Djibouti, Zambia register first cases

– Kyrgyzstan recorded its first cases in three citizens who returned from Saudi Arabia.

– Djibouti confirmed its first case as a Spanish national who was part of a 32-member Spanish special forces unit that came to the country on 14 March.

– Zambia’s health ministry confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases today.

Moldova confirms first death

– Moldova confirmed its first death today, while the cases in the country increased to 30.

– The nation declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia report new cases

– The Philippines’ health ministry reported 15 additional cases to total 202.

– Indonesia recorded 55 new cases, taking the total to 227, including 19 deaths and 11 recoveries.

– With 117 new cases, Malaysia registered 17% rise in infections to total 790.

South Korea reports 93 new cases

The  Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 93 new cases to total 8,413. This is the fourth consecutive report of fewer than 100 new cases.

Cases in India reach 149

– The number of cases in India reached 149, including one new case each in Pondicherry and Pune, Maharashtra.

First death, new cases in Pakistan

– With new cases reported on Monday and Tuesday, the number of cases in Pakistan reached 236.

– The country also confirmed the first death of a suspected coronavirus patient in Lahore, Punjab. The patient is reported to have recently arrived from Iran.

– Prime Minister Imran Khan said that Pakistan cannot currently afford the economic cost of closing down its cities.

WHO calls for ‘aggressive’ action in Southeast Asia

– The WHO has asked Southeast Asian countries to implement ‘aggressive’ action to control the spread of the virus.

WHO regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said: “More clusters of virus transmission are being confirmed. While this is an indication of an alert and effective surveillance, it also puts the spotlight on the need for more aggressive and whole of society efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

New Zealand reports new imported cases

New Zealand has confirmed eight new cases, all in people who had recent international trips, said the health ministry.

– The total number of cases in the country reached 20.

Death toll increases to 7,900

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to 7,900 as of the end of 17 March.

– The total cases cross 198,000 while the recoveries stand at 81,000.

17 Mar:

Australia declares human biosecurity emergency

– Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared a human biosecurity emergency, which enables closure of cities or regions, curfews and quarantine.

– Currently, the country’s travel advice is ‘Level 4: Do not travel’ to any country worldwide.

– The government also banned non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

Italy registers 345 more deaths; total 2,503

– Italy’s death toll surged by 345 to 2,503, a jum of 16%, said the Civil Protection Agency.

– The total cases in the country increased by around 12% from 27,980 to 31,506.

Gambia, Barbados, Montenegro and Montserrat report first case

– Gambia confirmed its first case as a 20-year-old woman who had recently visited the UK.

– Barbados registered its first two cases in a 48-year-old visitor from the US and a 39-year-old female national who returned from the US.

– Montenegro reported its first cases in two females who returned from the US and Spain, said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.

– Montserrat recorded its first case among the three samples sent abroad for testing, said health ministry.

– Brazil confirms first death

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro reported the nation’s first death, while Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 321.

– Finland interior minister Maria Ohisalo said that the country will begin to heavily restrict traffic over its borders from Thursday. The country has 319 cases to date.

– Bosnia declared a nationwide state of emergency as the number of cases in the country grew to 26.

– Vietnam will impose mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from the US, Europe and ASEAN regions. The country, which confirmed 61 cases, will also suspend the issuance of new visas.

– Canada’s Ontario banned gatherings of more than 50 people, closed bars and restaurants to control coronavirus spread. The number of infections in Canada reached 407, including four deaths.

– Sri Lanka, which reported 28 cases, banned all incoming flights for two weeks.

– Planemaker Airbus will suspend production in France and Spain for the next four days.

– Hong Kong will quarantine all people entering the city for 14 days from midnight on Thursday.

– Swiss federal health agency’s head of infectious diseases Daniel Koch said that hospitals in the country could collapse if the novel coronavirus continues rapid spread.

– China’s Shanghai has extended quarentine to visitors from the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria. The city already imposed same measures for passengers from France, Spain, Germany, the US, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

– Carmaker Volkswagen is preparing to suspend production to contain coronavirus spread.

UK sees 26% surge in infections

– The number of coronavirus infections in the UK increased by 26% to 1,950 from 1,543 the previous day. The death toll in the nation stands at 56.

Greece cases rise to 387

– Greece’s COVID-19 cases jumped to 387, while the death toll increased to five.

EU to close external borders

– European Union agreed to close Europe’s borders for 30 days. The regions will, however, build fast-track lanes to keep goods moving.

– According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European countries would decide whether to close their borders to third countries.

Two WHO staff test positive

– Two WHO staff members have tested positive, announced an official from the agency. These are the first cases reported at the agency.

Cases in Spain top 10,000; announces 200bn package

– Spain’s COVID-19 cases exceeded 10,000 to total 11,178, including 491 deaths.

– The country announced a 200bn package to aid companies, as well as protect workers and other vulnerable groups affected by the outbreak

Iran’s death toll climbs to 988; temporarily releases prisoners

– Iran’s health official confirmed 135 new deaths, bringing the total death toll to 988. The nation reported 16,169 infections so far

– The country has temporarily released approximately 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, said a judiciary spokesman.

Malaysia confirms first deaths

– Malaysia confirmed its first death in a 60-year-old pastor. The Sarawak state had said that 193 close contacts of the deceased have been traced and are under home quarantine.

– The second casualty in the nation was a 34-year-old man who attended a mass religious gathering in February in Kuala Lumpur. The country has at least 550 cases.

New cases in Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia

– Philippines’ health ministry reported 45 new cases, taking the total to 187.

– Philippine Airlines suspended all domestic flights due to quarantine imposed across the Luzon island.

– Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases, which increase its total to 177, including one death.

– Indonesia reported 38 new cases in the last two days, rising the total to 172, with five casualties.

First Covid-19 vaccine trial begins in US

– The first US clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is Moderna’s mRNA-1273, has started.

Cambodia cases double; total 24

– The number of cases in Cambodia doubled from 12 to 24. Of the new cases, 11 had visited Malaysia for a religious event at a mosque.

Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary tests positive

– Brazil’s Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo tested positive. The official was part of a delegation that recently visited Florida, US.

– The nation’s cases stand at 234.

South Korea reports 84 new cases

– South Korea has confirmed 84 new cases, marking the third day with less than 100 new infections.

– The total infections in the nation increased to 8,320, including 81 deaths and 1,401 recoveries.

India reports third death

– India reported third death, while the total cases has touched 132.

Pakistan cases rise to 189

– With new cases in Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, the number of cases in Pakistan increased to 189.

Ireland estimates cases to rise to 15,000 by March-end

– Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the number of cases in the country may rise to approximately 15,000 by the end of March from current 223.

– The country advised against all non-essential overseas travel.

– All schools, universities, bars and childcare facilities have been closed until 29 March and mass gatherings have been limited.

Spain deploys troops to help in lockdown

– Spain has been under partial lockdown since 14 March. Citizens were allowed to leave home only for work, buy food, visit a pharmacy or hospital.

– More than 1,000 troops were deployed in 14 cities across Spain to help in the lockdown.

– The country reported nearly 9,900 cases and 340 deaths so far.

US boosts measures to combat coronavirus

– The White House urged citizens to avoid gatherings of more than ten people.

– The government also called for closure of bars, gyms, restaurants and other venues in states with local transmission of coronavirus.

– To date, the nation has at least 4,660 confirmed cases and 85 deaths.

WHO calls for increased testing

– The World Health Organization asked all countries to boost testing programmes in an effort to slow the pandemic.

Death toll crosses 7,100

– The death toll due to COVID-19 has increased to more than 7,100 globally in 155 countries.

– The total number of cases has surpassed 182,000 while recoveries stand at 79,000.  

16 Mar:

First death in Portugal, Dominican Republic

– Portugal reported the first COVID-19 death in the country in an 80-year-old man with pre-existing health conditions. The country is mulling over declaring a state of emergency.

– The Dominican Republic’s first casualty is a 47-year-old woman who returned from Spain.

UK cases and deaths rise

– UK’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 1,543, while deaths rose to 53.

France confirms 21 new deaths; total 148

– France’s Public Health Authority confirmed 21 new deaths to total 148, indicating a 16% jump.

– The number of cases had risen by more than 20% to 6,633.

Poland’s environment minister tests positive

– Poland’s environment minister Michal Wos tested positive for coronavirus. The country confirmed 156 cases and three deaths to date.

Cases in Austria rise to 1,018

– The total number of cases in Austria have increased to 1,018.

– The government will provide €2bn of loan plus €4bn aid fund to support the economy.

Braemar cruise ship to dock in Cuba

– A Bristish cruise ship, Braemar, with five positive coronavirus cases is setting sail to Cuba after being turned away from several Caribbean ports over coronavirus fears, announced owner Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

UK actor Idris Elba tests positive

– UK actor and musician Idris Elba has tested positive for coronavirus.

– Finland would close all its schools and universities from Wednesday as the number of cases in the nation rise to 272.

– The Switzerland government declared a state of emergency until 19 April. It banned all public and private events, and deployed 8,000 military members for aid.

– Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation declared a state of disaster as the cases in the country increased to 24. Banja Luka town along with some other towns closed bars, restaurants and shops, except food stores, for one week.

– Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei said that the country will close its borders for the next two weeks to prevent spread of virus.

– Turkey ordered temporary closure of cafes, sports and entertainment venues, as well as suspension of mass prayers in mosques. The coronavirus cases in the country reached 47.

– Russia banned entry to foreign nationals from 18 March to 1 May. It closed state schools and limited public gatherings in Moscow as COVID-19 cases reached 93.

– Venezuela has decided to impose a nationwide quarantine after 16 new cases were confirmed today. The total cases in the country reached 33.

– Egypt will suspend all flights from its airports, from Thursday until 31 March to control coronavirus spread. The nation has 166 cases and four deaths.

– Canada imposed tougher screening measures for visitors as the number of cases in the country increase to approximately 320.

– Morocco will close all mosques, eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs and entertainment  centres to prevent spread. Markets, shops with essential goods and restaurants with delivery service are given exemption.

– Chile President Sebastian Pinera said that the country will close its borders to foreigners from Wednesday. The nation confirmed 155 cases to date.

– Greece ordered 14-day quarantine for people from abroad. The government will also close shops from Wednesday, except supermarkets, pharmacy stores and food delivery services.

– The Philippines ordered home quarantine and suspension of work and transport across Luzon as the country’s cases reach 140.

– Armenia declared state of emergency for one month from March 16 until April 16. The country confirmed 30 cases and has closed all educational institutions.

– Ghana announced closure of all schools and universities, as well as suspended public events to control the spread of coronavirus.

– Germany government advised against all non-essential international trips. The number of cases in the country increased to 6,012, including 13 deaths.

– Hungary announced plans to close borders to international passengers, suspend cultural and sports events and establishments. The government advised people aged over 70 to stay at home.

– Georgia would deny entry to all foreigners over coronavirus concerns. The country has 33 cases.

– Auto company Fiat Chrysler announced suspension of production at majority of its European plants until 27 March.

– South Africa plans to revoke around 10,000 visas issued to people from China and Iran. Also, visas will be needed for other ‘high-risk countries’ that had been visa-free, including Italy.

– Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, along with Lviv and Odessa cities, will close bars, restaurants, cafes and shopping malls from 17 March.

– A Northern Irish mother whose daughter has underlying health conditions and is at greater risk will launch a legal challenge against UK’s decision to keep schools open, her lawyers said.

Cases in Netherlands jump to 1,413

– The number of coronavirus cases in the Netherlands have jumped by 278 to 1,413, reported the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM).

– The death toll in the country stands at 24.

Spain’s cases grow to 8,744

– Spain’s health officials reported that the number of coronavirus cases in the country grew to 8,744, including 297 deaths.

– The regional leader of Spain’s Catalonia, Quim Torra, tested positive and is under self-isolation. Catalan government deputy head Pere Aragones also tested positive earlier.

Iran reports 129 new deaths

– With 129 new deaths, the death toll in Iran reached 853, while the number of infections increased to 14,991.

Liberia, Tanzania, Somalia, Benin confirm first case

– Liberia reported its first coronavirus case, without providing further details.

– Tanzania health ministry also confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection.

– Somalia health ministry announced its first Covid-19 case.

– Benin reported its first case in a national who returned from Belgium on 11 March.

Singapore cases rise to 243

– Singapore confirmed 17 additional cases to total 243. Of the new cases, 11 are said to be imported.

Malaysia reports 125 new to total 553

– Malaysia confirmed 125 new cases to total 553. Majority of the new infections have been traced to a religious gathering attended by nearly 16,000 people.

Bahrain confirms first death

– In a tweet, Bahrain health ministry confirmed its first death in a 65-year-old national with underlying health conditions. The country recorded at least 210 cases.

Pakistan cases rise to 122

– Pakistan reported a surge in cases to total 122, including 76 infections among people released from 14-day quarantine at Taftan.

Thailand records 33 new cases; total 147

– Thailand confirmed 33 new cases to total 147, marking the largest daily increase in infections.

Sweden announces $30bn crisis package

– The Swedish government announced an approximately SEK300bn ($30.9bn) crisis package to support the economy during the outbreak.

– The package includes various measures, including the central government assuming the cost of sick leave from companies in April and May.

– The country has 1,032 cases, including three deaths, to date.

Taiwan announces eight new cases; total 67

– The number of cases in Taiwan surged to 67, including eight new infections.

– The nation imposed a 14-day quarantine for all people from Europe’s Schengen border-free travel zone, the UK and Ireland.

– Taiwan also advised against non-essential travel to 13 European countries, 15 Middle Eastern countries, five countries in Africa and nine in Central Asia.

South Korea expands screening to all arrivals from Europe

– South Korea expanded screening measures to arrivals from all European countries. Initially, the screening was applicable for only six European countries.

– The KCDC confirmed 74 new cases today, taking the total to 8,236.

Turkey reports 12 new coronavirus cases

– Turkey confirmed 12 new cases to total 18.

– Of the new patients, two were linked to the nation’s first case, seven arrived from Europe, and three travelled to the US.

– The government closed schools and universities, and suspended flights to multiple countries to control the spread.

New Zealand bars gatherings

– New Zealand has banned gatherings of 500 people or more. The number of cases in the country reached eight.

Cases in India increase to 114

– The total number of confirmed cases in India has reached 114, with one fresh case each reported in Maharashtra and Karnataka and two cases in Kerala.

US death toll stands at 69

– The death toll in the US has increased to 69 while the total number of cases stands at 3,774.

Japan traces 15 clusters; total at 1,528

– Japan’s health ministry announced the identification of 15 clusters, with the largest being in the Osaka region.

– The total infections in the country stand at  1,528, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China. Around 30 people died due to COVID-19.

Cases in Rwanda rise to five; Cambodia at 12

– The number of cases in Rwanda grew to five from one, reported the health ministry late on 15 March. The country reported its first case on 14 March.

– Cambodia’s total infections increased to 12, with four new cases including  a four-month-old French boy and two people arriving from Malaysia.

China boosts quarantine for international arrivals

– China tightened quarantine measures for international arrivals in capital Beijing as the number of imported cases in the country reach 123.

Death toll increases to more than 6,500

– The Covid-19 death toll has crossed 6,500, as of the end of 15 March.

– The total number of confirmed cases has increased to more than 169,000 while recoveries stand at around 77,000.  

15 Mar: 

– Ukraine’s railways company Ukrzaliznytsia will bar all international passenger trains from 17 March. The country already suspended international flights and banned entry to foreign nationals until 3 April.

– Kenya would deny entry to all except citizens and residents as the number of cases rose to three. The country will also close primary and secondary schools from Monday, while boarding schools and universities will shut by the end of the week.

– Serbia’s president declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The country, which has at least 45 cases, deployed soldiers to guard hospitals and closed several public spaces.

– Argentina ordered ban on entry for 30 days to non-residents who visited a highly affected country in the last 14 days. The country has 45 cases.

– From 17 March, Estonia will deny entry to foreign travellers. Estonians, people living in the country and foreigners with family members living in the country will be able to enter. The nation registered 115 cases so far.

– Morocco suspended all international flights to and from its airports. The nation reported 28 cases, including one death and one recovery.

UK to isolate elderly people

– The UK government plans to isolate people aged above 70 and those at higher risk for four months to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

– In addition, complete families will be asked to self-isolate even if one person falls sick.

– The total number of cases in the UK neared 1,400, while the death toll stands at 35.

– The government asked manufacturers to boost production of ventilators and private hospitals to prepare more beds as coronavirus spreads.

Qatar coronavirus cases rise to 401

– Qatar reported 64 new cases to total 401. Nearly 7,950 people have been tested to date.

– The government will ban entry to non-nations for two weeks as of Wednesday. It will also suspend entry to passenger flights.

– All health clubs such as spas and restaurants in hotels, said Qatar National Tourism Council.

Equatorial Guinea confirms first case

Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first case as a 42-year-old woman who arrived in the capital Malabo from Spain on 13 March.

Spain reports 2,000 new cases

– Spain confirmed nearly 2,000 new cases to total to 7,753 and more than 100 deaths to total 288.

Deaths in Iran rise to 724

– With 113 new deaths in the last 24 hours, Iran’s death toll increased to 724, said a health ministry official. The total number of infections in the country reached 13,938.

The Netherlands, Greece report new cases and deaths

– The Netherlands has confirmed eight new deaths, taking the death toll to 20 in the country. The total number of cases has increased to 1,135.

– Greece confirmed one more death, taking the total to four. The number of infections grew by 103 to total 331.

Italy reports 368 new deaths

– Italy has reported 368 new deaths in the country, bringing the death toll to 1,809. The total cases in the country stand at 24,747.

France reports 29 deaths

– The death toll in France has increased to 127, with 36 additional deaths reported. This marks the biggest jump in cases so far.

– The confirmed cases in the country stand at 5,423.

Malaysia confirms 190 new cases; total 428

– With 190 new cases reported today, Malaysia’s total increased to 428. Majority of the infections are linked to a mosque gathering.

Cases in Vietnam reach 57; Philippines has 140

– Vietnam reported four new cases today, which increase its total to 57. The country ordered mandatory quarantine and testing of passengers from or through China, South Korea, the UK and Schengen countries.

– The Philippines confirmed four additional deaths to total 12 and 29 new cases to total 140.

Slovenia, Hungary report first death

– Slovenia health ministry confirmed first death in an elderly man with a chronic disease. The number of cases in the country stand at 219.

– Hungary’s first death is a 75-year-old national hospitalised with severe pneumonia. The country has 32 cases.

First case in Delhi, India recovers

– The first case confirmed in Delhi, a 45-year-old man, has fully recovered from Covid-19 coronavirus. India currently has 102 confirmed cases and two deaths.

US President tests negative, travel ban extended to the UK

– US President Donald Trump has tested negative for Covid-19.

– The US has extended the travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland.

– The US has confirmed more than 2,900 cases with 57 deaths so far.

NHS and private hospitals to partner to tackle the coronavirus pandemic

– The NHS has announced its plans to partner with the private hospitals to deal with the pandemic as the public hospitals in the countries are reportedly not equipped to handle the large influx of coronavirus patients.

– The UK has 1,143 confirmed cases with 21 deaths so far.

Wife of Spanish PM tests positive

– Begoña Gómez, the wife of the Spanish Prime Minister has tested positive for Covid-19. She, along with the PM, are reported to be doing well.

Philippines closes Manila for domestic travellers

– Philippines has closed its capital, Manila with the help of the police, for all domestic travellers. The city of around 12 million residents is reported to be closed for around a month.

Australia imposes self-quarantine for people arriving from abroad

– PM Scott Morrison has announced that any arriving passenger from abroad to Australia will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

– Cruise ships will also not be allowed to dock in the country for one month. People have also been advised to implement ‘social distancing’.

Mexico reports 41 cases, boosts measures

– Mexican health ministry reported increase of cases to 41 on Saturday.

– The government warned that the outbreak could last all year and bolstered measures to control the outbreak, including ban on large gatherings and extension of school holidays.

Death toll rises to more than 5,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 5,800 worldwide with around 156,000 confirmed cases and almost 74,000 recoveries, as of 14 March.

14 Mar:

– Egypt to close schools and universities for two weeks from Sunday, as the number of cases reach 110 with two deaths.

– Kuwait will close all shopping malls, excluding those related to food supplies. The country also called for closure of children’s entertainment centres and salons.

– Bolivia will ban the entry of visitors from China, South Korea, Italy and Spain. The country reported ten cases so far.

– Sudan ordered the closure of schools and universities for 30 days from Saturday. The coutry also banned public gatherings and social events.

– Denmark has reported its first death due to COVID-19 and has closed its borders for foreign travellers for one month.

– Cambodia would deny entry to visitors from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US for 30 days from 17 March. The nation’s confirmed seven cases.

– Colombia ordered closure of the border with Venezuela to contain spread of the coronavirus. As of Friday, the country reported nine cases.

– New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asked everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday to self-isolate for 14 days. All cruise ships will also be denied entry until 30 June.

– Rwanda, Seychelles, Congo Republic and Central African Republic report first cases.

Thailand reports seven new cases; total 82

– Thailand confirmed seven new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 82.

Uzbekistan confirms first case

– Uzbekistan health ministry confirmed first case in a national who returned from France.

– The country will close schools, colleges and universities for three weeks from Monday, and cancelled all public events.

– In addition, flights have been suspended to some cities in Western Europe, Asia and the Middle East until the end of April.

Sixth death in Philippines

– The Philippines confirmed its sixth fatality in a 54-year-old resident of Metro Manila. The country reported at least 64 cases.

Japan cases rise to 1,423

– NHK reported a total of 1,423 infections early today, including 697 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 14 evacuees from China.

– The country saw 28 deaths, including seven from the cruise ship,

107 new cases in South Korea; total 8,086

– For the second consecutive day, South Korea reported more recoveries than new infections.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 107 new cases, rising the total to 8,086. Meanwhile, 204 people have recovered and discharged from hospitals.

Australia bans public events

– Prime Minister Scott Morrison suspended all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, including sporting and cultural events.

– The government also advised people against overseas trips.

– A total of 197 cases and three deaths have been reported.

US declares national emergency

– US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus spread, enabling $50bn in federal aid.

– The country now has over 1,700 confirmed cases and 40 deaths.

Europe now epicentre of outbreak, says WHO

– WHO called Europe the pandemic’s current epicenter, with the continent now reporting more cases and deaths compared to the remaining global regions, except China.

Death toll nears 5,500

– Deaths due to COVID-19 have neared 5,500, as of 13 March. The total infections increased to 145,300 worldwide, with more than 71,600 recoveries.

13 Mar:

– Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness declared disaster over coronavirus. The country, which reported eight cases, is also seeking 100 Cuban nurses to help.

– Chilean President Sebastian Pinera ordered a ban on public events of more than 500 people from Monday. The country registered 43 cases so far.

– Spain declared a state of emergency today over the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first of three state of emergency stages.

– From Monday, Singapore will ban entry to people who had been to Italy, France, Spain and Germany in the past 14 days.

– Romanian interim prime minister Ludovic Orban will be under self-quarantine after coming into contact with one of his party’s senators who  later tested positive.

– Moldova would suspend all flights to European regions from Sunday. The country has six cases to date.

– France will close all nurseries, schools and universities from Monday to fight the spread of the virus, said President Emmanuel Macron. The country also banned public gatherings of more than 100 people.

– Boeing official said that more than 50% of flights have been cancelled in Asia Pacific over coronavirus fears.

– Czech Republic announced that the country would deny entry to foreigners and banned its nationals from travelling abroad as of Monday.

– Bulgaria foreign ministry banned all travel to Iran, and asked people to avoid non-urgent travel to 11 countries. The country already suspended visits to China and advised against travel to Italy.

– North Macedonia suspended public gatherings and would ban entry to foreign nationals arriving from ‘high-risk countries’. A total of nine cases have been reported in the country.

– Iraq banned entry to visitors from Germany and Qatar, expanding its list to 13 countries.

– Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton tested positive.

First cases in Guinea, Sudan, Mauritania

– Guinea’s first case is an employee of the European Union delegation.

– Sudan confirmed its first case in a man who died on Thursday and had arrived from the UAE earlier this month. The country suspended flights to eight countries.

– Mauritania’s health ministry also reported the first coronavirus case.

Italy death toll rises to 1,266

– The  number of deaths in Italy increased by 25% in the last 24 hours to total 1,266. Also, the number of infections surged by nearly 17% to 17,660.

Guatemala, Kosovo, Uruguay, Venezuela confirm first cases

– Guatemala confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection. The nation banned arrivals from some heavily affected countries, including the US and Canada.

– Kosovo’s first cases are a 20-year-old Italian woman and a 77-year-old Kosovar man.

– Uruguay confirmed its first four cases in people who arrived from Milan, Italy.

– Venezuela reported its first two cases and declared a state of alarm as the country is said to be unprepared to fight the pandemic.

Germany cases cross 3,000

– The number of cases in Germany grew by 671 to 3,062, including five deaths.

Second death in India

– India reported its second death in a 68-year-old woman with other health conditions in New Delhi.

– The nation confirmed 82 cases so far.

New cases in Mexico, Panama, Egypt, Saudi Arabia

– Cases in Mexico grew to 26 from 15 the previous day.

– Panama’s confirmed cases increased to 36, including three foreign nationals.

– With 13 new cases, the total cases in Egypt reached 93.

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 24 new cases to total 86.

Canada boosts measures

– Canada boosted measures to fight the outbreak, including emergency measures such as half-point interest rate cut.

– Ottawa asked citizens to avoid non-essential foreign travel.

– The total cases in the country neared 200, including one death.

Iran to empty city streets; cases reach 11,364

– IRNA reported that Iran’s security forces will empty city streets in the next 24 hours to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

– The country registered 11,364 cases and 514 deaths so far.

Infections in Netherlands rise to 804

– The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands increased from 614 a day earlier to 802 today.

– The number of deaths in the county doubled to ten.

Indonesia cases double to 69

– Indonesia confirmed 35 new coronavirus cases, which rise its total to 69. Three of the latest cases had died, said Reuters.

27 cases in Belarus

– Belarus registered six new cases on Friday, increasing the total to 27.

17 new cases in Saudi Arabia; total 62

– Saudi Arabia confirmed 17 new cases, including 11 Egyptians, reported state news agency (SPA). The total cases reached 62.

Thailand issues new coronavirus warning

– Thailand issued a new coronavirus warning to party-going people following a cluster of 13 cases traced to a group of friends who shared cigarettes and drinks.

– The number of cases in the country stand at 75.

Kenya, Kazakhstan, Ethiopia confirm first cases

– Kenya health minister reported the country’s first case in a person who arrived from the US via London.

– Kazakhstan healthcare minister Yelzhan Birtanov confirmed the first cases as nationals who returned separately from Germany on 9 March and 12 March. The ministry will quarantine people on the 9 March flight, while people on the 12 March flight are already under quarantine.

– Ethiopia’s first case is a Japanese national, reported the country’s public health institute.

Google employee in India tests positive

– Google has announced that an employee at its office in Bangalore, Karnataka, India tested positive.

– India reported nearly 80 COVID-19 cases so far, including the Google employee.

South Korea reports more recoveries for first time

– South Korea reported 110 new cases today, representing a decrease from 114 confirmed a day earlier. This takes the total to 7,979.

– 177 patients were released from hospitals today, marking the first time the country had more recoveries than infections since its outbreak.

Ghana, Gabon confirm first cases

– Ghana’s health ministry confirmed its first two cases in people who had recently visited Norway and Turkey.

– Gabon’s first case is a 27-year-old-man who had returned from France on 08 March.

Indonesia to ban face mask exports

– Indonesia is set to temporarily ban face masks export to ensure domestic supply amid the outbreak.

US implements more measures to contain spread

– US states are implementing more measures to contain the spread of coronavirus. Some states, such as Seattle and Ohio, have even closed schools.

– Hospitals across the country are setting up tents to cater to the increasing inflow of patients. In Hawaii, urgent care clinics are offering drive-through testing.

– The number of cases in the country increased to more than 1,300, with 39 deaths.

Death toll reaches 4,700

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 4,700 globally, with a total of more than 128,330 infections and 68,300 recoveries, as of the end of 12 March.

12 Mar:

– US’ Council on Foreign Relations cancelled a conference called ‘Doing Business Under Coronavirus’ in New York amid coronavirus outbreak.

– Bulgaria intends to declare emergency, said Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The country’s cases increased from seven on Wednesday to 23, with first death reported on Wednesday.

– Chinese medical adviser Zhong Nanshan says coronavirus outbreak could be over by June if countries take firm measures.

– Tecnologico de Monterrey university in Mexico would suspend all academic events and classes from 17 March to control spread.

– Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on TV that all schools will be closed from Monday to contain the outbreak.

– Belgium’s government also ordered closure of schools, cafes, restaurants and some shops from Friday midnight until 03 April.

– Costa Rica ordered suspension of all university classes and certain schools over coronavirus fears.

– Qatar government also announced a set of regulatory measures to prevent the spread, including closure of theatres, play areas and gyms.

– Turkey’s schools will be closed for one week and universities for three weeks from March 16, while all sports events will take place without spectators until the end of April.

Trinidad & Tobago confirms first case

– Trinidad & Tobago confirmed its first case as a 52-year-old male who arrived from Switzer­land on Mon­day.

Italy deaths cross 1,000

– Deaths from coronavirus in Italy have increased 23% to 1,016. The total number of cases rose 21.7% from 12,462 to 15,113.

– A total of 1,258 patients in the country had fully recovered.

Canadian Prime Minister’s wife tests positive

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife tested positive for coronavirus after returning from London.

– Trudeau has no symptoms but will be in isolation for two weeks as a precaution. The number of cases in Canada reached 142, including one death.

UK cases at 590; peak 10 to 14 weeks away

– The cases in the UK grew 29% to 590 in the last 24 hours, with a total of ten deaths.

– The government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said that coronavirus peak in the country may be 10 to 14 weeks away.

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia tested

– King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia and the entire cabinet were tested after the  equalities minister Irene Montero tested positive.

– Only one cabinet minister – Carolina Darias – tested positive so far.

– A total of 3,146 cases have been reported in Spain, including 86 deaths.

First death in India

– India reported its first death in a 76-year-old man from Karnataka. Authorities ordered schools, theatres and cinemas closed in New Delhi, as total cases reached 79.

Azerbaijan confirms first death; Hong Kong sees fourth casualty

– Azerbaijan confirmed its first death in a woman who was quarantined after returning from Iran. The number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– Hong Kong reported its fourth death in a 80-year old man, reported Reuters. The country’s has nearly 130 cases.

Cases in Ireland increase to 70

– Ireland Department of Health reported that the number of cases in the country increased to 70 from 43 a day earlier.

Egypt reports 13 new cases; total 80

– Egypt confirmed 13 new coronavirus cases, which rise the total to 80. The new cases also included one death.

Germany cases increase to 2,369

– Robert Koch Institute said that the number of cases in Germany increased to 2,369 from 1,567 the previous day.

– The country saw five deaths so far.

Morocco suspends travel to Spain and Algeria

– Morocco suspended all flights and passenger ships to and from Spain, reported Morocco’s state news agency.

– Algerian presidency statement said that all flights between Algeria and Morocco have been suspended.

Infections in Netherlands jump to 614

– The number of new cases in the Netherlands grew 22% to 614 on Thursday, according to health officials.

– The Dutch National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) noted that 273 of the infections are in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.

Deaths in Spain rise to 84 ; Iran’s reach 429

– The number of coronavirus deaths in Spain increased to 84 from 47 on Wednesday. A total of 2,968 cases have been reported so far.

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran reached 429. Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur reported a total of 10,075 infections.

– Iran asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5bn emergency funding to control the coronavirus outbreak.

Armenia to replace used banknotes

– The Armenian central bank announced plans to replace used banknotes in an effort to control the coronavirus spread.

– The bank asked people to prefer online payments instead cash.

Thailand reports 11 new cases; nine in Malaysia

– Thailand health officials confirmed 11 new cases, taking the total to 70.

– Malaysia reported nine new cases today to total 158.

First local transmission in South Africa

– South Africa’s first case of local transmission is a 32-year-old man who came into contact with a Chinese businessman, said health ministry.

– The number of confirmed cases in the country reached 17.

Spanish minister tests positive

– Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero tested positive for the new coronavirus, while the Deputy Prime Minister Pablo Iglesias was quarantined.

– The country’s prime minister will hold further meetings via video conference.

Singapore to close mosques

– Singapore will close all mosques for a minimum of five days for deep cleaning. The closures would take effect on Friday, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore.

– The country reported a total of 178 cases.

First death in Austria, Poland, Algeria, Norway

– Austria reported its first Covid-19 fatality as a 69-year-old man in Vienna. The country has 302 cases to date.

– Poland’s first coronavirus death occurred in Poznan, reported broadcaster TVN24. The country confirmed 47 cases to date.

– First death from Covid-19 in Algeria has occurred today. The number of cases in the country stand at 24.

– Norway reported its first death in an elderly patient. The total number of infections in the country passed 620. Restaurants, cafés, bars, schools, day care centres and companies have been closed to control the spread.

114 new cases in South Korea

– South Korea confirmed 114 new cases, which take the total to 7,869, including 66 deaths.

– Health authorities are working to trace and control multiple new clusters, including in capital Seoul.

Cases in India reach 73

– The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that the total number of cases in India reached 73.

– Of the total patients, 17 are foreign nationals.

New cases in Saudi Arabia; suspends travel

– The number of cases in Saudi Arabia increased to 45, with 24 new infections reported early today, said the state news agency.

– Of the 24 new cases, two people returned from Iraq, one had contact with infected person from Iran, and 21 had contact with an Egyptian visitor who previously tested positive.

– The country suspended travel and flights to several countries, including the European Union, India and the Philippines.

Guyana, French Polynesia, St Vincent confirm first case

– Guyana reported its first Covid-19 case in a 52-year-old woman who died after returning from the US last week. The patient had underlying illnesses and tested positive for coronavirus after death.

– French Polynesia’s first case is politician Maina Sage who returned from Paris on 7 March.

– St Vin­cent and the Grenadines confirmed its first case in a fe­male who had trav­elled to the UK.

Sweden, Greece announce first death

– Sweden reported its first death in an elderly patient with an underlying sickness. The government banned public gatherings of more than 500 people.

– Greece’s first fatality is said to be a 67-year-old man who had recently returned from Israel and Egypt.

Actor Tom Hanks and wife test positive

– Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson have tested positive in Australia.

– In a tweet, the actor said that he is working on a film in Australia and was tested along with his wife after experiencing slight fevers.

Asian Development Bank, Philippine Senate closed

– The Philippines Senate and the Manila headquarters of the Asian Development Bank have been closed after visitors to both buildings tested positive.

Death toll increases to 4,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have reached to more than 4,600, including 3,169 in mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

Global infections have increased to nearly 126,140, with a total of approximately 68,200 recoveries.

11 Mar:

WHO declares the outbreak to be a pandemic

– In response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak, the WHO has declared the situation to be a pandemic. WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement: “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a #coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time.”

Ireland confirms first death

– Ireland health ministry reported the country’s first coronavirus death. The number of cases in the country reached 43.

Cuba, Ivory Coast report first cases

– Cuba confirmed its first three cases in tourists who tested positive today.  The government asked citizens to make their own masks, in addition to its textile industry, amid declining supplies globally.

– Ivory Coast reported its first case in a 45-year-old national who recently travelled to Italy.

US restricts travel from Europe

– The US has restricted travel from Europe for 30 days in an effort to control the rapid spread of coronavirus.

– President Donald Trump said that the restriction, which will come into effect on midnight Friday, does not apply to Britain.

– The country has 1,322 confirmed cases and 38 deaths so far.

Qatar reports 238 new cases

– Qatar confirmed 238 new cases among people under quarantine in one residential compound. This increase the total cases to 262.

– These new patients reside in the same compound as three people who were diagnosed on Sunday.

New cases in Spain, Egypt and Costa Rica

– The number of cases in Spain increased to 2,277, including 55 deaths. In capital Madrid, the number of cases had risen to 1,024 from 782 on Tuesday, reported health authorities. State-run museums in Madrid will be closed to contain the spread.

– Egypt reported seven new cases taking the total to 67.

– The total cases in Costa Rica increased to 22 from previously confirmed 13.

Italy tightens lockdown

– Italy has tightened its nationwide lockdown to include shutting of bars, hairdressers and restaurants.

– The number of cases on the country have raised to 12,462 and death toll  increased to 827.

UK cases rise to 456

– With 74 new cases, the total number of infections in the UK reached 456, including six deaths.

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency committee on 12 March. The meeting is to discuss moving to the ‘delay phase’ from ‘contain’.

Honduras reports first case

– Honduras confirms first two cases of Covid-19, two women with travel history to Spain and Switzerland.

New cases reported in Maldives, Pakistan, Denmark and Philippines

– Total cases in Maldives has increased to eight, including two newly reported cases.

– One more case has been detected in Gilgit Baltistan, taking Pakistan’s total to 20.

– Denmark has reported 78 additional cases, bringing the country’s total to 340.

– Philippines has confirmed 16 new cases of Covid-19 in the country. The total confirmed cases in the country stand at 49.

Cases rise in Malaysia, South Africa and Israel

– Malaysia has reported additional 20 cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 149.

– South Africa’s Minister of Health has announced six new cases, bringing the total to 13.

– Health Ministry of Israel has announced eight additional coronavirus cases. The country’s total stands at 76.

Bahrain records 77 new cases

– Bahrain registered 77 new cases among evacuees from Iran, taking the total to 189.

First death reported in Indonesia and Belgium

– Indonesia’s Health Ministry has announced the death of a 53-year-old foriegn woman due to Covid-19. She is reported to have been in serious condition when she was admitted.

– Belga news agency stated that the Belgium’s health ministry reported the first death in the country. The patient is reported to be 90-years-old.

Vietnam cases jump to 35 

– The country reported nearly 20 new cases to total 35. 13 of the new patients were on a Vietnam Airlines flight from London to Hanoi on 2 March.

Australia cases rise to 122; announces $1.6bn health package

– The number of cases in Australia has increased to 122, including three new cases of women who visited Europe.

– The country announced a A$2.4bn ($1.56bn) health package to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

Cases in India reach 62

– With new cases reported in the late night of 10 March from Kerala, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, the total in India increased to 62.

– Of the 18 new cases reported on 10 March, eight are from Kerala, five from Maharashtra, four in Karnataka and one in Jammu & Kashmir.

– The country cancelled visas granted to Germany, France and Spain nationals on and before Thursday. Indian citizens have been asked to avoid travelling to these countries.

UK Health Minister tests positive;  sixth death reported

– UK Health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for Covid-19 and is currently undergoing self isolation at home.

– The country has also reported its sixth death – a man in his 80s with other health issues. The total confirmed cases in the UK stand at 373.

KCDC reports 242 new cases

– The KCDC has stated that 242 additional cases were detected in the country, taking the count to 7,755.

– The total number of deaths has also increased to 60, with six new deaths reported today morning.

361 Taiwan evacuees return from Wuhan

– Two flights with a total of 361 Taiwanese have returned from Wuhan.

– One plane flew citizens back to the island in early February and disputes delayed the others.

Death toll rises to more than 4,200

– The Covid-19 death toll has risen to more than 4,200, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of the end of 11 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 119,000 in 114 countries while recoveries has increased to around 65,000.   

10 Mar:

Bolivia, Turkey, Jamaica report first cases

– Bolivia Health Minister Anibal Cruz confirmed the country’s first two Covid-19 cases.

Turkey reported its first case as a male citizen who returned from Europe.

– Jamaica’s first case is a female with a travel history to the UK.

Death toll in Italy increases by 36%

– The death toll in Italy has increased to 631, a jump in 168 cases which marks a 36% increase, according to Civil Protection Agency.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased from 9,172 to 10,149.

Democratic Republic of Congo confirms first case

– Democratic Republic of Congo reported its first positive case of coronavirus in a person who returned from France.

Panama confirms first death

– Panama reported the first Covid-19 death and confirmed seven new cases, only a day after the country reported its first case.

Couple on Grand Princess sues cruise line

– A couple from Florida, US quarantined on the Grand Princess filed a lawsuit against the company Princess Cruises.

– The lawsuit stated ‘lackadaisical approach to the safety of the plaintiffs, its passengers and crew about the Grand Princess, plaintiffs are at actual risk of immediate physical injury’.

Spain ramps up measures to prevent spread

– Spain has closed schools in some parts of the country and stopped all flights arriving from Italy to ‘avoid Italian scenario’.

– The total cases in Spain stand at 1,695 with 35 deaths so far.

Spanish lawmaker tests positive

– A Spanish lawmaker from the Vox political party has tested positive for Covid-19. Along with 51 of his other party lawmakers, he will work from home.

Japan declares $4bn package for Covid-19

– Japan has annoucned a $4bn package to support small and mid-sized firms affected by Covid-19. This is the second set of relief measures announced by the government.

– The country reported 59 new cases on 10 March, taking the total to 1,278 cases, including 696 from Diamond Princess and 14 evacuees from China.

– This increase on 10 March is said to be the biggest single-day rise since the start of the outbreak.

India evacuates citizens from Iran

– A transport aircraft belonging to the Indian Air Force has evacuated 58 Indian citizens from Iran.

UAE reports 15 additional cases

– The UAE has announced 15 additional cases in the country, taking the total to 74. The total recoveries stand at 12.

Italian couple in India given anti-HIV drugs for treatment

– An Italian couple that tested positive for Covid-19 in India has been given a combination of two drugs that are generally used to control HIV. This marks the first instance of using anti-HIV drugs against Covid-19 in India.

Philippines reports increase in cases

– The Department of Health in the country has announced 11 additional cases, bringing the total in Philippines to 35.

President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan

– Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Wuhan for the first time, to meet health professionals who helped in treating the coronavirus.

– Hubei Province has planned to adopt a health code to permit people to return to work.

Cases rise in India

– The total cases in India has increased to more than 50, with new cases reported in Kerala and Karnataka.

– Kerala reported six new cases, taking the state wide cases to 15. Kerala Chief Minister has announced a total shutdown of the state.

– Karnakata has reprorted three more cases in the state. Karnataka now has four cases.

Death toll increases to 4,000

– The death toll increases to more than 4,000, with around 3,100 cases in Mainland China, as of end of 10 March.

– The total confirmed cases has increased to more than 113,000 around the world while recoveries has increased to around 59,000.

9 Mar: 

First death reported in Canada

– British Columbia in Canada has reported its first death, a man in his 80s who is reported to have other health issues.

– Five more cases were also reported in British Columbia, taking the province’s cases to 32. Total cases in Canada stand at 77.

Italian PM imposes country wide lockdown

– In a press conference, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the travel restrictions applicable to the north of Italy would extend to the entire country.

New cases reported in Cyprus, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Mongolia and Panama

– Cyprus has announced the first two cases in the country, a man with travel history to northern Italy and one to the UK.

– A man tested positive for coronavirus in Brunei, the first case in the country. The man returned from Malaysia on 3 March.

– Burkina Faso reported its first two cases of Covid-19, according to local media. The infected are a couple with a travel history to France.

– Mongolia has announced its first coronavirus case, a French national who arrived from Moscow. The country has barred travel from and to the cities for six days.

– A woman who arrived in Panama from Spain has tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.

Italy Covid-19 death toll and cases rise

– Italian authorities announced that cases in Italy have increased to 9,172 with 463 deaths in the country. Recoveries have increased to 724.

US death toll increases to 26

– The total number of deaths in the US has increased to 26 with new deaths reported. The confirmed cases stand at more than 700.

Six die in Italy prison riot

– Six inmates had been killed in a prison riot in Italy, while guards were taken hostage at another jail, indicating the rising unrest in the country’s prisons over coronavirus.

Iran death toll jumps to 237; releases prisoners

– Coronavirus has claimed 237 lives and infected total 7,161 people in Iran, with 595 new infections and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours.

– The country has temporarily released nearly 70,000 prisoners due to the outbreak, said judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi.

Indonesia confirms 13 new cases to total 19

– Indonesia confirmed 13 new cases – 11 nationals and two foreigners, which the country’s total to 19.

UAE cases stand at 59

– With 14 new cases, the UAE confirmed a total of 59 cases, according to state news agency WAM.

Vietnam to temporarily suspend visa-free travel to eight European countries

– Vietnam announced plans to temporarily suspend visa-free travel for citizens from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France and Spain.

– The move comes after 11 of the country’s 14 new cases had a travel history to Europe. A total of 30 cases have been confirmed in the nation.

Costa Rica cases reach nine

– The total number of Covid-19 cases in Costa Rica increased to nine.

Canada to repatriate citizens onboard Grand Princess 

– Canada has arranged a flight to repatriate its citizens onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.

– The passengers will be taken from San Francisco to the Canadian forces Base Trenton in Ontario and put under quarantine.

Qatar imposes travel ban on 14 countries

– Qatar has temporarily suspended entry of travellers from 14 countries, after the number of cases in the nation increased to 15.

– The ban applies to India, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria and Thailand.

– The country previously suspended flights to and from Italy.

– Today, the country also announced plans to suspend schools and universities from 10 March.

Philippines declares health emergency

– The Philippines declared a health emergency over fears of community transmission.

– A total of ten cases have been confirmed in the country, including one death.

Cases in India rise to 43

– With new cases reported in Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the number of cases in the country increased to 43.

Albania confirms first cases

– Albania confirmed its first Covid-19 cases in a father and son who had recently travelled to Italy.

South Korea reports 69 new cases

– South Korea reported 69 new cases to total 7,382 on Monday. The death toll in the country is 51.

– The rate of rise in new infections is said to have dropped to its lowest in ten days on Sunday.

Death toll jumps to 3,800

– The death toll due to Covid-19 rises to 3,800 including around 3,100 in Mainland China, as of end of 8 March.

– The total number of cases in the world has increased to more than 110,000 in 108 countries around the world. The recoveries currently stand at 61,000.  

Wuhan closes 11 makeshift hospitals

– Wuhan has closed 11 of 14 makeshift hospitals as the number of new infections decline, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

UK reports 273 cases and three deaths

– The UK Department of Health and Social Care reported 64 new cases, which represent a 30% rise to total 273.

– Also, the country saw its third Covid-19-related death in a 60-year-old man who had ‘underlying health conditions’.

First death in Egypt

– Egypt Health Ministry confirmed the first fatality in the country as a 60-year-old German tourist who died on Sunday.

– The nation’s total number of cases stands at 55.

Saudi Arabia imposes lockdown, restricts travel

– Saudi Arabia, which confirmed a total of 15 cases, imposed a temporary lockdown on its Qatif province, where most of its cases were reported.

– The country also suspended schools and universities, and suspended travel with nine countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.

8 Mar:

Costa Fortuna ship heads to Singapore

– Cruise ship Costa Fortuna is said to be heading to Singapore after it was denied entry at ports in Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears.

US cases near 550; Grand Princess quarantine

– The number of cases in the US have neared 550, including 22 deaths.

– According to health officials, Grand Princess cruise will be allowed to dock at a terminal near Oakland, where passengers will disembark. The passengers will be sent for quarantine elsewhere in California.

– US Army restricted travel to and from Italy and South Korea.

New deaths in Netherlands, Switzerland

– Health officials reported two additional deaths in the Netherlands, bringing the total fatalities to three. The total number of cases in the country  increased to 265.

– A patient at Liestal in Switzerland had died, taking the total to two. The number of cases stand at 281.

Bulgaria, Moldova report first cases

– Bulgaria confirmed its first four cases – two men from Pleven and two women from Gabrovo tested positive.

– Moldovan health ministry reported the nation’s first case in a 48-year-old woman who returned from Italy.

Ten die in China quarantine hotel collapse

– A total of ten people have died and 23 remain trapped at the hotel collapse site in the Chinese city of Quanzhou.

South Korea cases rise to 7,134

– KCDC has reported 367 new cases, taking the total to 7,134. It also reported six new deaths taking the death toll to 50 in the country.

Deaths in Italy rise to 366

– The total number of deaths in Italy have increased to 366 while the total cases in the country stand at 7,375.

Bangladesh reports first case

– India’s neighbouring country Bangladesh has reported its first coronavirus cases on Sunday.

– Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Research Meerjady Sabrina Flora confirmed three new cases of coronavirus infection in the country, of which two are men and one is woman.

– Two of the three affected people had travel history from Italy and the third person is related to one of them.

Iran marks highest single-day toll with 49 new cases

Iran reported its highest single-day toll on Sunday with 49 new coronavirus deaths, taking the death toll to 194.

Cases in India rise to 39

– Five additional people in Kerala, India have tested positive, increasing the total to 39. All the five cases are from Pathnamthitta district.

– Three of the new patients had returned from Italy on 29 February, while two others are their relatives.

First death in Argentina

– Argentina reported its first death of a Covid-19 patient, marking the first fatality in Latin America.

21 new cases in Greece; total 66

– Greece registered 21 new coronavirus cases in one day, bringing its total to 66.

– Majority of these cases were part of a travelling group that had gone on a pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt

Third death in Australia

– Australia health authorities confirmed the third death in the country as a man in his 80s at a hospital in Sydney.

– The total number of cases in the nation reached 74.

Four people die in China hotel collapse

– Four people have died in the hotel collapse in the Chinese city of Quanzhou, reported local media.

– In addition, four have severe injuries and one is in critical condition.

Death toll nears 3,600

– Deaths from Covid-19 have neared 3,600, including 3,097 in mainland China, as of the end of 07 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 106,150, with nearly 59,930 recoveries.

– On March 7, mainland China saw 44 new cases and 27 deaths.

Italy to lockdown northern parts

– Italy will put a virtual lockdown on its northern regions, including the capital Milan, Lombardy and 11 provinces in four other regions.

– The lockdown applies to nearly 16 million people. It involves shutting down of all museums, gyms, cultural centres, ski resorts and swimming pools in the target regions.

– The number of cases and deaths on the country stand at 5,883 and 233, respectively.

Bahrain calls for self-quarantine

– In a tweet, Bahrain asked people who traveled to Lebanon, Egypt, Italy or South Korea to self-quarantine for two weeks.

7 Mar:

Iran death toll jumps to 145

– Iran confirmed 21 additional deaths, bringing the total to 145. A health ministry official noted that the number of infections had risen to 5,823.

Cases in UK jump to 206

– With additional cases reported, the total in the UK reached 209. So far, two people have died in the country.

Germany cases reach 684

– The number of coronavirus cases in Germany stand at 684. This represents about ten times increase compared to previous week, when total 66 cases were reported on 29 February.

Quarantine hotel in China collapses

– Nearly 70 people were said to be trapped in the collapsed hotel used for quarantine of coronavirus patients in the city of Quanzhou.

– 42 individuals had been retrieved from the site of the collapse, while around 38 people remain trapped.

US deaths reach 19

– Two additional patients in Washington state have died, taking the total to 19.

– The number of cases in New York increased by 13 to 89. The state declared emergency.

Maldives, Paraguay, Malta report first cases

– The Maldives has confirmed its first two cases, who are believed to have been infected after coming in contact with an Italian tourist. The tourist had tested positive after returning to Italy.

– Two island resorts in the Maldives have been locked down to prevent coronavirus spread.

– Paraguay confirmed its first case in a tweet, which did not disclose any further details.

– Malta’s first case is a 12-year-old Italian girl who returned from Trentino via Rome.

India reports three new cases; total jumps to 34

– India reported three new covid-19 cases on Saturday (two from Ladakh and one from Tamil Nadu), taking the total confirmed cases in the country to 34.

– Ladakh cases had travel history from Iran, while Tamil Nadu patient had travel history from Oman.

– Union Health Ministry special secretary for health Sanjeeva Kumar said that all the three patients are in stable condition and are undergoing treatment in isolation.

Kuwait suspends flights; Saudi limits land crossings

– Kuwait civil aviation directorate said in a tweet that the country suspended  flights to and from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Bangladesh, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka for seven days.

– Saudi Arabia limited land crossings with the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain to commercial trucks in an effort to contain the virus. Flights from the three countries are temporarily limited to three airports.

South Korea cases reach 6,767

– South Korea reported 174 new cases, taking the national total to 6,767. The number of deaths stand at 44.

Doctor in Australia tests positive

– Australian health authorities closed a clinic after a doctor who recently returned from the US tested positive.

– Health officials are contacting approximately 70 patients of the doctor and will also contact passengers who were on his flight.

– The total number of cases in Australia has neared 70.

Death toll crosses 3,450

– Deaths from Covid-19 have crossed 3,450, including 3,070 in mainland China, as of the end of 06 March.

– The number of global infections has increased to more than 101,731, with nearly 57,390 recoveries.

UK confirms second death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the second death in the country at Milton Keynes University Hospital.

6 Mar:

– Vietnam reported its 17th case, which is said to be the first in three weeks.

– The UAE identified 15 new cases to total 45, said the health ministry.

– Iraq recorded eight new cases, which take the total to 46, and total three deaths. The country added France and Spain to its entry ban list.

– With two new cases, Indonesia’s total increased to four.

Colombia, Costa Rice, Peru, Togo report first case

– Colombia reported its first case in a 19-year-old female who had visited Italy.

– The first case in Costa Rica is a 49-year-old woman from the US.

– Peru President Martin Vizcarra confirmed the country’s first case in a 25-year-old man who had travelled to Europe.

– Togo’s first case is a 42-year-old woman with a recent travel history to France.

US cases surge to 329

– The US recorded a sharp rise of nearly 100 cases in 24 hours to total 329. Coronavirus-related deaths in the country stand at 17.

Italy deaths jump to 197

– Italy recorded an increase in the number of deaths to 197. The total cases in the country reached 4,636.

21 people on Grand Princess ship test positive

– 21 people aboard Grand Princess ship, which was denied entry at San Francisco Bay, have tested positive.

– Out of 46 people, 19 crew members and two passengers were found to have contracted the virus.

– The ship will be taken to a non-commercial port and all passengers will be tested.

– Cases in Belgium more than doubled to 109, said health ministry. Majority of the new patients had travelled to Italy.

– Romania confirmed its seventh case in a 16-year old girl in Timisoara.

– Estonia reported eight new cases to total ten. The country’s Health Board examined samples of 183 passengers on a flight from Bergamo, Italy to Riga and ten tested positive.

– Iran health ministry confirmed 1,234 new cases and 17 deaths from a day earlier to total 4,747 infections and 124 casualties.

– Egypt reported 12 new cases on a Nile cruise ship. The country previously confirmed three cases.

– Malaysia health ministry reported 28 new cases today, taking the total to 83.

Netherlands registers first death

– The Netherlands registered its first coronavirus fatality in a 86-year-old man at the Ikazia Hospital in Rotterdam.

– The source of infection of the man is said to be unclear.

First case in Slovakia 

– Slovakia reported the first case in a 52-year-old man. The patient did not travel abroad but his son, who had no symptoms, visited Venice, Italy.

Vatican, Cameroon, Serbia confirm first cases

-Vatican City has confirmed its first Covid-19 case, said spokesman Matteo Bruni. Outpatient services in Vatican clinics had been suspended for sanitisation, while emergency services will continue.

– Cameroon has reported the country’s first case as a 58-year-old French national who arrived in February.

– Meanwhile, Serbia registered its first positive coronavirus case in a 43-year-old man who traveled to Budapest, Hungary.

Germany reports 134 new cases; total 534

– Robert Koch Institute in Germany reported 134 new cases, which take the total to 534.

Cases in India reach 31

– Confirmed cases in India increased to 31, with a Delhi man who recently travelled to Thailand and Malaysia, testing positive.

Bhutan confirms first case

Bhutan, which shares border with India, confirmed its first case in a visiting American. The country has admitted eight Indian tourists with symptoms in a local hospital.

Hungary cases rise to three; Philippines has five

– Hungary confirmed a total of three cases. The latest is a Hungarian man who had returned from Milan, Italy. The first two cases were Iranian students.

– With two new cases, the number of cases in the Philippines increased to five.

Ireland reports seven new cases to total 13

– Seven new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Ireland, a surge from six the previous day. The total number of cases in the country stands at 13.

– Four of the new cases are males who returned from Italy, two are women who are believed to have had close contact with an infected person and one man is said to be a case of community transmission.

Infected man attended rock concert in NZ

– A man in New Zealand confirmed to have Covid-19 was revealed today to have attended the Tool concert at Spark Arena in Auckland on 28 February.

– According to health ministry, the man was in the general admission standing area in the front left-hand quadrant. The ministry is asking people who were in the same area to be aware of symptoms.

– The man has been isolated at home since 04 March.

First school closed in Australia after student tests positive

– Australia closed its first school – Epping Boys High School –  in Sydney after a 16-year-old student tested positive.

– The pupil is believed to be a case of local transmission.

– The total number of confirmed cases in the country stands at 60, including deaths of two elderly people.

Cases in South Korea reach 6,593

– The number of Covid-19 infections in South Korea have reached 6,593. The country reported 43 deaths so far.

Death toll rises to 3,380

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to around 3,383 worldwide, with more than 98,380 infection cases and 55,420 recoveries, as of the end of 05 March.

– China reported 143 new cases and 30 deaths to total 80,552 infections and 3,042 fatalities.

UK, Switzerland report first death

– England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed the nation’s first coronavirus-related death in an elderly man with underlying health conditions.

– The total number of cases in the UK reached 116.

– Switzerland reported its first death in a 74-year-old woman from Vaud.

Bosnia confirms first cases

– Bosnia has confirmed its first two cases in a man who returned from Italy and his child.

Dominican Republic reports second case

– Dominican Republic reported its second case as a 70-year-old Canadian tourist who arrived on 25 February.

Province in China reports 11 new cases from Iran

– The Gansu province in China reported 11 new coronavirus cases in people who arrived on commercial flights from Iran, said state media.

– 311 passengers from Iran have been quarantined at the provincial capital of Lanzhou, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

Two-week quarantine for South Korea visitors in Japan

– Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposed a two-week quarantine for people coming from South Korea and banned visitors from highly affected areas.

– South Korea protested Japan’s decision, calling it unreasonable and excessive. Seoul’s foreign ministry plans to meet the Japanese ambassador to discuss the concerns.

5 Mar: 

– Luxembourg health ministry confirmed the second Covid-19 case.

– With three new cases, the total number of infection in Ecuador increased to 13.

– Eight additional positive cases in Iceland bring the country’s total to 34.

– Czech Republic health ministry confirmed 12 cases so far.

– Saudi Arabia reported three new cases to total five.

– Singapore minister Lawrence Wong said that the outbreak is “starting to look like a global pandemic”.

Spain records third death

– Spain recorded its third death in a 99-year old woman who lived at a nursing home in Madrid.

– At least nine other people at the nursing home have tested positive, according to Madrid’s health authority. Other residents will also be tested.

Japan says Diamond Princess cases 696

– The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan has corrected the number of Diamond Princess cases to total 696 , saying that some people were counted twice.

Estonia confirms third case; Pakistan six

– Estonia health authorities reported the country’s thrid Covid-19 case in person who was on the same flight from Italy as the second case.

– Pakistan has confirmed a total of six cases so far.

New cases in Austria, Switzerland , Norway and Netherlands

– With additional infections confirmed, the number of cases in Austria has reached 42.

– Switzerland also reported new confirmed coronavirus cases to total 119, while infections in Norway increased to 91.

– The number of cases in the Netherland grew to 82, with 44 new cases reported on 05 March.

Palestine confirms seven cases

– Palestine confirmed seven coronavirus cases in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. President Mahmoud Abbas declared a 30-day state of emergency.

– The government imposed a two-week ban on visitors to cities and sites, including Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity.

Cases in Slovenia rise to six

– A total of six cases have been confirmed in Slovenia. The first case in the country was reported on 04 March.

Death toll in Italy surges to 148

– Italy confirmed 41 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total to 148. The number of infections in the country increased to 3,858.

Brazil cases increase to eight

– A total of eight cases have been reported in Brazil, including the first cases of local transmission from a Sao Paulo man.

Legislator in France hospitalised

– One of France’s National Assembly member has been hospitalised after being infected with coronavirus, reported Reuters.

– France had confirmed 423 Covid-19 cases, with a total of seven deaths, as of late 05 March.

Cases and deaths rise in US; Congress allots $8.3bn

– The number of cases in the US increased to total 233, including 12 deaths.

– The Congress passed an $8.3bn emergency spending bill to fight the outbreak, which has now spread to at least 14 states. President Trump is yet to sign the bill.

Poland, Gibraltar, Hungary report first cases

– Poland announces its first case of coronavirus. Almost 70 people were tested for the Covid-19.

– Gibraltar confirms its first case of coronavirus.

– Hungary confirmed its first two cases, both Iranian students.

– Three new deaths have been reported in South Korea, bringing the country’s death toll to 35. The number of infections also increased to 5,766.

– Iraq reports third death, of a 65-year-old individual living in Baghdad.

– Spain reports third death, of a 99-year-old woman.

– Leading scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London told BBC Programme Today that the world tried hard to halt the virus but has failed and over 80 nations have confirmed cases.

– An expert with China’s top panel said that Wuhan is likely to see new infections drop to zero by the end of March.

– China gives approval to use Roche’s anti-inflammation drug Acetemra to fight against Covid-19.

Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess is being held off the California coast due to fears that passengers and crew members developed coronavirus (Covid-19).

– India reports new case, taking its confirmed cases to 30.

– India to set up a lab in Tehran, the capital of Iran, for mandatory testing of passengers before board a plane to the country.

-The pet dog of a coronavirus-infected patient in Hong Kong was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, making it a possible case of human-to-animal transmission.

– Tunisia, which confirmed its first case of Covid-19 on 2 March, has announced plans to suspend passenger ferry services to northern Italy.

-Portugal reports its sixth case, and the first of a woman. The patient was in Italy and is now hospitalised in Lisbon.

– Senegal confirms third and fourth case.

-Saudi Arabia confirms its second case. The patients has come from Iran through Bahrain. Saudi reported its first case on 2 March.

-Three more people test positive in Czech Republic, taking its total to eight.

-Iceland confirms ten more cases, taking its total to 26.

-Ecuador reports ten cases until 4 March, while Republic of San Marino reports 15 cases.

– Republic of Ireland reports four more cases, taking its total to six.

– Indian student in Dubai tests positive.

– Romania reports sixth confirmed case.

-Algeria reports nine new cases taking its total to 17.

– Greece’s total cases touch nine, while in Croatia, tenth case has been confirmed.

– Switzerland, which is one of the ten countries mostly affected by coronavirus Covid-19, has more than 100 positive cases.

-Bahrain confirms three new cases, while Lebanon confirms two new cases.

-16 new cases reported in Stockholm takes Sweden’s total to 57.

– Thailand reports four new cases, taking its total to 47, while Malaysia’s figures touch 55.

– France now reports 285 confirmed cases.

– Coronavirus could cost airline industry $113bn in lost revenue, says airline industry body IATA.

– Belgium reaches 50 confirmed cases, with the addition of 27 new cases.

Death toll increases to more than 3,200

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to more than 3,200, as of the end of 4 March.

– The confirmed cases has increased to 95,000 with 80,000 cases in Mainland China, while the number of recoveries stands at more than 53,000.

4 Mar:

South Korea reports additional cases and deaths

– KCDC has announced additional 516 cases, taking the total to 5,328. The death toll in the country has also inceased to 32, with four new deaths reported.

Death toll in Iran increases to 92

– The Health Ministry of Iran has confirmed additional new deaths, which takes the total deaths to 92. The confirmed cases in the country stands at 2,922.

Abu Dhabi stops International Patient Care

– Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH) has announced that it has suspended the international patient care services temporarily due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

– Under IPC, UAE citizens are sent abroad for treatment if the necessary procedures are not available in the Emirates.

Additional cases confirmed in Malaysia, UK, Germany

– Malaysia has confirmed additional 14 cases, taking the total to 50. The recovered cases stand at 22.

– Cases in UK have increased to 85, with 34 new cases reported. Of the 34, 29 patients have a history of travelling abroad while it is not known where the other three got infected.

– Cases in Germany have also increased to 240, announced Robert Koch Institute.

India confirms new Covid-19 cases; total 28

– India has confirmed additional Covid-19 cases in two other states, taking to total to 28 in the country.

– Of the new cases, 16 are Italian nationals while one is Indian driver who tested positive in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

– Another six cases were confirmed in Agra, family members of the man who tested positive in Delhi.

– Previously, three cases were confirmed in Kerala, one in Hyderabad, one in Delhi. The patients from Kerala have recovered.

Death toll increases to 3,198; confirmed cases more than 93,000

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 3,198 as of end of 3 March.

– The number of confirmed cases have crossed 93,000 while recoveries stand at more than 50,000.  

3 Mar:

Portugal, Canada and Qatar report rise in cases

– Two more people have tested positive for Covid-19, taking the total to four.

– Canada has confirmed three more cases in British Columbia, bringing the country’s total tally to 33.

– Qatar has announced that the total cases has increased to eight, including the one new case confirmed.

Spain confirms first death

– Spain has announced the first death in the country, a man who died on 13 February.

– In a press conference, regional health chief Ana Barcelo stated that the post-mortem tests showed that coronavirus was the cause of death.

Iran temporarily releases 54,000 prisoners

– Iran has temporarily released over 54,000 prisoners from its crowded jails to stop the spread of coronavirus.

– However, prisoners who have been sentenced for more than five years have not been released.

UAE reports six new cases

– The UAE has reported six new Covid-19 cases, two Italians, two Russians, one Colombian and one German. The total cases in the country stand at 27.

– The confirmed cases are a part of the cancelled UAE cycling tour, from which two other cases were confirmed.

US deaths increase to nine

– The death toll in the US has increased to nine, with additional deaths reported in the state of Washington.

– All the deaths so far have been reported from Washington; eight from King County and one in Snohomish County. The total cases in Washington stand at 27.

– Total cases in the US stand at 124.

Death toll in Italy rises to 79

– Death toll in Italy has increased to 79 from 52 reported yesterday.

– The total confirmed cases have also risen to 2,263 while 160 people are said to have recovered.

Germany reports increase in cases

– Germany has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 196. North Rhine-Westphalia is the most affected with 103 cases.

– There are death cases in Germany so far.

WHO states Covid-19 mortality rate increased to 3.4%

– WHO has stated that the mortality rate of Covid-19 coronavirus stands at 3.4% globally, which is higher than the previous estimate of 2%.

– WHO director general stated that Covid-19 ‘spreads less efficiently than flu’ and is a results in a severe illness compared to flu. There are no vaccines or therapeutics for it and it is possible to contain it.

Malaysia reports seven new cases

– Malaysia has reported seven new cases in the country, taking the total to 36. All patients are reported to be stable.

First case reported in Ukraine, Argentina and Chile

– Ukraine has reported its first case, a man who arrived from Italy via Romania. The patient is said to be stable while his wife is under self-isolation.

– Argentina has announced that the country’s citizen who arrived from Italy on 1 March tested positive for Covid-19, the first case in the country.

– Chile has confirmed its first case in a 33-year-old Chilean who arrived from Singapore on 25 February.

Additional cases reported in Czech Republic

– Czech Republic has reported two additional cases of the coronavirus. Two women who had contact with the previous cases tested positive.

Cases rise in Germany

– Germany has reported that the total number of cases in the country has increased to 188.

Iran reports 11 more deaths

– Iran has announced 11 more deaths, taking the country’s death toll to 77. The total number of cases stand at 2,336.

South Korea reports 600 new cases, six deaths

– KCDC has reported an additional 600 cases in the country, taking the total to 4,812. It also reported six new deaths. The death toll in South Korea stands at 28.

Death toll increases to 3,100; China cases decrease

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has increased to approximately 3,100, as of the end of 2 March. The deaths in Mainland China stand at 2,943.

– The total number of cases has crossed 90,000, with around 80,000 of the cases in Mainland China.

– As per the NHC report on 3 March, 125 people tested positive while 31 people died, all in the Hubei Province. Additionally, 2,742 people recovered and were discharged.

Senegal reports first case

– Senegal has reported its first infection on Monday in a French man who arrived from France on 26 February.

2 Mar:

– UAE has evacuated its citizens from Iran, where 66 people have died due to coronavirus. The citizens are under quarantine and their health is being monitored.

France reports two new deaths; total four

– Two more patients had died in northern France, bringing the country’s death toll to four, said Le Parisien newspaper citing the mayor of Compiegne.

Cases in UK reach 40

– The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK increased to 40, including a pupil of Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Torbay, Devon.

– On 3 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch the government’s action plan to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Tunisia, Morocco confirms first case

– Tunisia confirmed its first case in a national who returned from Italy.

– In Morocco, the first Covid-19 patient is a Moroccan citizen who returned from Italy.

Qatar cases increase to seven

– Qatar’s health ministry reported four new coronavirus cases to total seven.

– Of the new patients, two are Qatari nationals and two are ‘domestic workers’ of undisclosed nationality who accompanied them to Iran.

US death toll rises to six

– The state of Washington in the US has reported four more death cases, taking the total to six in the country.

– The total cases in the country stand at 91, of which 45 are repatriated citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three from Wuhan.

Oman bans vistiors

– Oman banned visitors from countries where coronavirus has spread, the country’s foreign ministry tweeted, without specifying countries.

– The move is said to be a precautionary measure, which is applicable on all ports, including land, sea and air.

Pakistan reports additional case

– Pakistan has reported another case of Covid-19, taking the total to five. The patient is reported to have a previous travel history to Iran.

Iran death toll rises to 66; Iranian Expediency Council member dies

– Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi told state television that the country has reported 523 additional cases and 12 deaths, bringing the total to 1,501 cases with 66 deaths.

– Among the deceased is an Expediency Council member Mohammad Mirmohammadi.  Many other senior officials have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Italy cases and deaths rise

– As per 2 March reports, Italy’s Health Ministry has stated that 52 people have died, a sharp increase compared to yesterday’s 34.

– The number of cases has also increased from 1,577 to 1,835. Lombardy in the northern region continues to be the most affected region with 1,254 cases.

Cruise ship faces protests in Reunion Island

– The Sun Princess cruise ship, owned by Princess Cruises, faced violent protests when it docked at Reunion Island over Covid-19 fears.

First cases confirmed in Saudi Arabia and Jordan

– Saudi Arabia confirmed that a Saudi citizen returning from Iran via Bahrain tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first case in the country.

– Jordan has confirmed its first case, a citizen who arrived from Italy 16 days ago. The patient has been quarantined for two weeks and is reported to be recovering.

Wuhan closes one Covid-19 hospital

– Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, has shut down the one of the 16 hospitals that were built to treat people affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

– State broadcaster CCTV stated that the hospital closed its doors after discharging the final patents who recovered.

– China saw a decline in the daily reported cases in Hubei Province and Wuhan in the past few days while China is monitoring people who may return from other countries where the outbreak has spread.

Evacuees test negative in India

– The Indian Ministry of Health has stated that the evacuees from China and the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested negative in the first round of testing in the isolation camps at Chhawla and Manesar

– An Italian man is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state of Rajasthan in India. The samples are sent for confirmation to National Institute of Virology in Pune.

WHO staff tests positive

– In a media briefing, WHO director-general stated that a staff member of the WHO has tested positive for Covid-19 and is said to have ‘mild disease’.

Japan reports 15 new cases

– Kyodo newswire has stated that Japan has confirmed atleast 15 new cases of coronavirus on 2 March.

Iceland reports first three cases

– Iceland’s Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management announced the country’s first three cases, late on Sunday. All three confirmed cases had a previous travel history to Italy.

Cases in Germany rise to 150

– Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control in Germany has stated that the confirmed cases in the country has increased to 150 from yesterday’s 129.

EU raises risk level to high

– The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has risen the coronavirus risk level in the European Union from moderate to high, said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference.

– Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides noted that 2,100 Covid-19 cases were confirmed in 18 of the 27 EU states, and 38 EU citizens had died from the infection.

Cases and deaths rise in Iran

– In an announcement on state TV, Iran’s deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said that coronavirus caused 1,501 infections and 66 deaths so far.

Andorra, Portugal report first cases

– European country Andorra has reported its first case of Covid-19 – a 20 year-old man who recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Portugal also recorded its first two cases – one is said to be a man who recently visited Italy and another one in a man who returned from Spain.

Kuwait confirms ten additional cases

– A health ministry official announced ten new cases, which take the total to 56.

Australia confirms two cases of community transmission

– Australia has reported two cases of community transmission in a 41-year-old woman whose brother returned from Iran and a 31-year-old doctor.

– The total cases in Australia currently stand at 33.

India confirms two new cases

India has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus infection, taking its total to five.

– One of the new cases, which was identified in capital New Delhi, has a travel history to Italy.

– The second case identified in Telangana state recently travelled to Dubai.

Indonesia reports first cases

– Two Indonesian nationals have tested positive for Covid-19, the first cases in the country.

South Korea reports 476 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 476 new confirmed cases, taking the total to 4,212 with 22 deaths, including four announced today.

Cases in Israel rise to ten

– Israeli health ministry confirmed additional coronavirus cases, bringing the total in the country to ten.

More cases reported in Algeria and Egypt

– Algeria has reported two more confirmed cases, which takes the country’s count to three.

– In a Facebook post, Egypt’s health ministry has announced the second confirmed cases of coronavirus. It was also reported that the first confirmed case has recovered from the virus.

Deaths cross 3,000 globally, confirmed cases cross 89,000

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has crossed 3,000, as of the end of 1 March. The number of deaths in Mainland China stands at 2,912.

– The total confirmed cases worldwide has increased to more than 89,000 while recoveries cross 45,000.

– Mainland China reported 42 deaths and 204 new cases, as per daily breifing reports by NHC on 2 March.

1 Mar:

France records total 130 cases

– French health officials said that the total cases in the country now reached 130, of which nine are in serious condition.

Cases in Norway reach 19; Finland cases at six

– With new cases reported, Norway’s total of positive Covid-19 cases reached 19, including five hospital workers.

– Finland confirmed four new cases, which bring the nation’s total to six.

Ecuador cases increase to six

– The total number of cases in Ecuador surged to six, with five new cases reported a day after the country reported its first case.

– All the five new patients are said to have had direct contact with the first case.

Bahrain says total cases grew to 47

– Bahrain health ministry confirmed six new coronavirus cases to total 47. The new patients are five Bahraini nationals and one Saudi citizen who arrived on indirect flights from Iran.

Mexico reports more cases; total five

– Mexican authorities reported additional positive cases of coronavirus, taking the total to five. All the five patients had a history of travelling to Italy.

Iran death toll rises by 11

– The death toll in Iran has increased to 54 with 11 new deaths reported. The total number of cases has also increased to 978.

Scotland records first case

– A man with previous travel history to Italy has tested positive in Scotland. This is the region’s first confirmed case of Covid-19.

– England has also reported 12 new confimed cases. The total cases in the UK stand at 36.

Qatar reports two additional cases

– Qatar Ministry of Public Health has reported two additional cases of Covid-19, taking the nation’s total to three.

– The confirmed cases are two citizens who were repatriated from Iran, and are under quarantine.

– Qatar imposed a temporary ban on entry of travellers coming from Egypt through intermediate points.

– In light of increasing cases of Covid-19, France has closed its Louvre Museum in Paris and South Korea has closed some churches.

Additional cases reported in Lebanon, Kuwait, Greece, Brazil and Pakistan

– Lebanon has confirmed additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total cases to ten.

– Kuwait announced one more case of coronavirus, bringing the total to 46.

– With three new cases, Greece has confirmed total seven cases. Two of the confirmed cases are related to the existing cases in the country while the other visited Italy in recent times.

– Brazil has confirmed the country’s second case of coronavirus – a patient who travelled to northern Italy.

– Pakistan has reported two more coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to four.

Dominican Republic, Armenia, Czech Republic and Ireland record first cases

– The Dominican Republic health officials have announced that a man who arrived from Italy has tested positive for the coronavirus.

– An Armenian national returning from Iran has tested positive, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in a Facebook post.

– Czech Republic has confirmed its first three cases of the coronavirus – all three with travel history to northern Italy.

– Ireland has recorded its first Covid-19 case – a man who with a travel history to northern Italy.

Singapore records four additional cases

– Minstry of Health in Singapore has announced four additional cases of Covid-19, taking the total to 106. Additionally, the recoveries stand at 74, including the two recently discharged cases.

South Korea reports additional cases, one death

– The total cases in South Korea has increased by 210, taking the total to 3,736. The number of deaths in the country has also increased to 18, including one newly reported deaths, as per KCDC 1 March evening reports.

Italy cases and deaths continue to rise

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has announced that the total cases in the country has increased to 1,577.

– The deaths in the country has increased to 34 from the previous 29. Additionally, 83 people have recovered.

The US reports second death

– The US has reported a second death in King County, Washington. The deceased is a man in his 70s who is reported to have underlying health issues.

Death toll nears 3,000 worldwide, recoveries cross 42,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 is more than 2,970, as of end of 29 February.

– The total number of cases increased to more than 86,500, with more 79,824 cases confirmed in Mainland China. The recoveries have also increased to more than 42,000 globally.

– Mainland China reported 573 new cases and 35 more deaths.

Iran reports nine new deaths

– Iran has reported nine new deaths and 205 confirmed cases, taking the death toll to 43 and confirmed cases to 593.

– One of the nine new fatalities is the death of the country’s member of parliament infected with coronavirus.

South Korea reports 376 cases

– KCDC reports additional 376 cases, taking the total to 3,526 while the death toll stands at 17.

Australia and Thailand report first deaths

– A 78-year-old repatriated man from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died in Australia, the country’s first death case. The total cases in the country stand at 27, including two new confirmed cases.

– Thailand also reported its first death, reported the Ministry of Public health. The deceased was a 35-year-old man who also suffered from dengue fever before testing positive for coronavirus. The total cases in Thailand stand at 42.

29 Feb: 

The US reports first death

– The US reported its first death; the deceased was in his 50s and was from Seattle, Washington. He was reported to have underlying health conditions.

– The US has also increased its travel restrictions South Korea, Iran and Italy due to the increasing number of cases in the countries.

New cases reported in Ecuador and Luxembourg

– Ecuador’s health minister stated that the country has recorded its first case of coronavirus.

– A man who arrived from Italy to Luxembourg has tested positive for Covid-19.

Total cases cross 1,000 in Italy

– Italy’s Civil Protection head Angelo Borrelli confirmed that the total confirmed cases increased to 1,128 with 29 deaths so far.

Qatar reports new case

– Qatar has confirmed its first case of Covid-19, a Qatari national who arrived from Iran recently. The patient is said to be stable.

First cases reported in Monaco, Mexico and Azerbaijan

– A man from Monaco has reported the first case of Covid-19. The man is admitted in a hospital in France.

– Mexico reported its first two cases in the country, one who tested positive and another who is awaiting test results. The second case is considered as confirmed.

– Azerbaijan has reported its first case of Covid-19. The patient was from Russia who arrived from Iran.

Romania, Denmark, Norway and Georgia report new cases

– Romania has reported two additional cases, bringing the total to three.

– Denmark confirmed its second coronavirus case, a man who returned from northern Italy.

– Three others have tested positive in Norway, taking the country’s total cases to four.

– Georgia has also recorded its second case of the virus. The woman a 31-years-old and travelled to Italy.

Singapore confirms four cases of coronavirus

– Singapore has reported four additional cases, taking the total to 102. Singapore’s Ministry of Health has added that it also discharged three cases.

– The total recovered cases in the country stands at 72.

South Korea reports additional cases; one death

– KCDC has announced 219 additional cases and one new death. The country’s death toll stands at 17 while the total cases are 3,150.

– Total cases in Iraq have increased to eight while cases in Lebanon stand at four.

– A man who arrived in Israel from Italy has tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to seven in the country.

– Finland has reported that the country’s total now stands at three confirmed cases.

– Bahrain confirmed two cases of coronavirus, of which one is from Saudi Arabia. The total in Bahrain stands at 38.

Death toll increases to more than 2,900

– The death toll due to has increased to more than 2,900, as of the end of 28 February.

– The number of confirmed cases around the world have increased to more than 85,000, while recoveries stand at 39,000.

South Korea reports additional cases; three deaths

– South Korea reported another 594 cases, increasing the total cases to 2,931. Death toll reached 16, as per KCDC 29 February morning reports.

Singapore reports two additional cases

The total number of cases in Singapore has increased to 98, including the two new cases reported today.

28 Feb:

– WHO has raised global coronavirus outbreak risk to ‘Very High’

Iran death toll reaches 34

– The Covid-19 death toll in Iran has increased to 34, a Health Ministry spokeswoman said. The total number of cases also inreased to 388.

US reports two cases of community spread

– The states of Oregon and California reported additional cases of community spread, which brings the total cases to 62.

France, Italy confirm additional cases

– France has confirmed additional 19 cases, taking the total to 57 cases, with two deaths so far.

– The total number of cases in Italy have increased to 888. The country also reported four new deaths, increasing the country’s death toll to 21.

Diamond Princess update: sixth death reported

– Another passenger, a man from the UK, who was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died. This is sixth Diamond Princess death.

UK reports one additional case

– England has announced an additional case. The total cases in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Wales, stand at 20.

South Korea reports 315 additional cases

– KCDC has announced 2,337 cases in the country, including 315 newly reported cases. The country’s death toll stands at 13.

Greece reports additional case

– Greece has reported an additional case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four. The patient is a 36-year-old Greek woman who arrived from northern Italy.

Cases in Croatia rise to five

– Two additional people in Croatia tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total to five. The newly infected were in close contact with the initial cases, noted the country’s health minister.

Kuwait confirms two new cases; total 45

– Kuwait has recorded two new cases in people who previously came into contact with Iran citizens. The total number of infections in the country now stands at 45.

The Netherlands reports second case

– The country has reported the second case in its capital Amsterdam. This patient is said to have no link to the first case.

UK cases rise to 19

– Wales has confirmed its first case in a patient who arrived from Northern Italy and England has reported two more, taking UK’s total to 19.

Dog tests positive for coronavirus in HK

– A Pomeranian has tested positive for the coronavirus in Hong Kong. The dog is said to have contracted the virus from its infected owner.

– The dog did not exhibit any symptoms and tested ‘weak positive’. It is currently under quarantine for 14 days.

Fifth Diamond Princess passenger dies

– Another passenger from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died due to coronavirus.

– The patient was a Japanese woman in her 70s who tested positive on 6 February and confirmed to have pneumonia on 12 February.

Japan reports fifth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fifth death in the country due to coronavirus. The patient was a Japanese man in his 70s who was hospitalised on 6 February due to fever.

Malaysia reports two new cases; total 25

– The country confirmed two additional cases to total 25. Malaysia government imposed temporary restrictions on visitors from Korea.

Thailand reports one additional case

– Thailand health offical has stated that the country has reported its 41st coronvirus case. The patient had arrived from South Korea and was daignosed on 24 February.

UAE reports six additional cases

– The total cases in UAE have increased to 19, with six newly reported cases. Of the six cases, four are from Iran, one from Bahrain and one from China.

– The Iranians are said to have entered the country before UAE banned flights to and from Iran.

Western Australia registers second case

– A woman from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, who was evacuated last week has tested positive for Covid-19. This is the second case in WA and 24th in Australia.

Lithuania and Belarus report first case

– A woman returing from Verona in Italy has tested positive for coronavirus in Lithuania. This is the country’s first positive case.

– Belarus has also registered its first case of Covid-19.

NZ confirms first case; temporarily bans Iran travel

– New Zealand has announced the first case of Covid-19 in a person who arrived from Iran via Bali. NZ’s Ministry of Health has asked people on the same flight, to contact health authorities.

– NZ has restricted travel to Iran in light of increasing cases and deaths in the Middle Eastern country.

Nigeria reports first case

– An Italian man who arrived in Lagos, Nigeria this week, has tested positive for Covid-19, marking its first case in the country and Sub-Saharan region.

South Korea confirms 256 additional cases

– KCDC has reported 256 additional cases, taking the total to 2,022. The number of deaths in the country stand at 13, with no additional deaths, as of 28 February morning reports.

Death toll increases to more than 2,850 globally

– The Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 2,850, as of the end of 27 February.

– The total number of infections has risen to around 83,300, with around 78,000 infections in Mainland China. Recoveries worldwide has crossed 36,000.  

27 Feb:

Japan reports fourth death

– Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced the fourth death in the country due to Covid-19. The patient was a Japanese man in his 80s who tested positive on 22 February.

– The ministry added that the cause of death is under confirmation.

UN to provide sanction exceptions to N Korea

– UN panel monitoring the sanctions in North Korea has permitted WHO to supply medical equipment into North Korea to aid in its efforts to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19.

Swiss cases rise to nine

– Reuters has reported that the number of cases in Switerland has increased to nine, including the latest case in a woman who travelled from Milan.

– The woman works in a daycare facility and following her positive test result, the childern have been put into a 14-day quarantine.

Oman reports sixth case

– Oman has reported its sixth case in a person who returned from Iran.

Cases rise in Spain, Greece, Sweden and France

– Spain has reported a increase in cases, taking the total to 15 in the country.

– Greece has announced two more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to three. Both the patients have history of travelling to northern Italy. The country has cancelled public events to stop the spread of virus.

– Sweden has announced five new Covid-19 cases with which the total now stands at seven.

– French Health Minister has stated that there are 38 confirmed cases in the country, with 20 new confirmed cases.

Northern Ireland reports first case

– Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency has confirmed that a woman has tested presumptive positive for Covid-19. This is the first case in the region. The total cases in the UK currently stand at 16.

Lebanon reports third case

– News agency NNA reported that a man returning from Iran has tested positive. Lebanon has so far reported three coronavirus cases.

Iran VP tests positive for Covid-19

– Iran’s VP for Women and Family Affairs Masoumeh Ebtekar has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The Netherlands and San Marino report first cases

– The Netherlands has reported its first case. The patient had a history of travel to Italy’s Lombary region.

– San Marino in Europe has also recorded its first case of the coronavirus. Health authorities have started to search people who were in contact with the patient and are monitoring the general practitioner.

Cases and deaths in Italy rise

– Italy’s Health Ministry has reported additional new cases in the country, bringing the total to 655. The death toll in the country has also increased to 17 while the total recoveries stand at 45.

South Korea reports new cases and death

– South Korea has reported 171 new cases, which rise the total to 1,766. With one new fatality, Covid-19 deaths in the country reach 13.

Malaysia reports one new case; total 23

– Malaysia reported its 23rd case in a national who recently travelled to Japan.

Kuwait confirms 43 cases

– In a press conference, Kuwaiti Ministry of Health stated that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has risen to 43.

Iran reports four new deaths, 106 new cases

– Iran has announced that four additional people have died, which brings the country’s death toll to 26. The number of infected people increased to 245.

Switzerland announces three new cases

– Swiss health authorities have announced three new cases of coronavirus, taking the country’s total to four.

Australia says pandemic inevitable

– At a press conference, Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that ‘the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus.’

– In an effort to be prepared for the prediction, the country implented its Emergency Response Plan/coronavirus pandemic preparedness plan.

– Australia also extended China travel ban to 7 March.

UK reports two new cases; total 15

– The UK government confirmed two new cases in England, taking the nation’s total to 15.

– England chief medical officer Chris Whitty said that the new patients contracted the virus in Italy and Tenerife, Spain.

Iran death toll rises to 22

– Iran has confirmed four more deaths, bringing the total to 22. The country confirmed 141 cases so far.

South Korea reports additional death

– KCDC has reported an additional death, bringing the total to 13, with 1,595 confirmed cases.

Iraq confirms sixth case

– Iraq confirmed its sixth case, which marks the first one in its capital, Baghdad. The new patient is a male who returned from Iran.

– Iraq suspended public gatherings and banned travel to and from a total of nine countries, including Kuwait and Bahrain.

Estonia, Denmark report first cases

– Estonia’s first case has been confirmed in a man with a recent travel history to Iran, according to Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax.

– Health authority in Denmark has confirmed the country’s first positive case, who is said to be a man returned from a holiday in northern Italy. The patient is under isolation in his home.

Chinese city to offer $1,400 to people who self-report

– Qianjiang in Hubei Province has announced 10,000 yuan ($1,425.96) reward for people with Covid-19 symptoms who report themselves to the authorities. The reward will be provided to confirmed cases.

Japanese woman tests positive for second time

– A Japanese woman from Osaka has tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time.

– She first tested positive in late January and recovered on 1 February.

Saudi Arabia suspends Mecca pilgrimage

– The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned all religious visits to Mecca and Medina, the Islamic holy sites, in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus from other infected Arab countries.

US confirms first case of unknown source

– The US has confirmed one new case suspected to be a result of ‘community spread’, when the source of infection is not known.

– This brings the total in the country to 60 cases, including 42 repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship and three Wuhan evacuees.

India evacuates citizens on Diamond Princess and Wuhan

– India has evacuated 119 Indian citizens along with two Sri Lankans, one Nepalese, one South African, and one Peruvian from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– The Indian Air Force relief aircraft has repartiated 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals from Wuhan. The aircraft left for China with 15t of medical supplies to Wuhan after which it evacuated the 112 passengers.

South Korea reports new cases

-South Korea has reported 334 new cases and no new deaths. The total cases now stand at 1,595 and 12 deaths so far.

Finland and Lebanon report second cases

– Finland has confirmed a second coronavirus case in Finland – a female national who had recently visited Milan, Italy.

– Lebanon’s health ministry also reported the country’s second case in a person who returned from a trip to Iran.

Death toll touches 2,800

– The death toll due to coronavirus has increased to 2,800 with around 2,640 deaths in Hubei Province in China as of the end of 26 February.

– The confirmed cases around the world are more than 82,000 while recoveries also increased to 32,000.  

26 Feb: 

Croatia confirms third case

– Croatia confirmed its third case – a man who had been working in Italy – in Rijeka city.  The first two cases were earlier reported in the country’s capital, Zagreb.

Romania reports first case

– Romania confirmed its first Covid-19 case in a man who was in contact with an Italian diagnosed with the virus. The Italian, who visited Romania between 18 and 22 February, was diagnosed after returning to Italy.

US-South Korea postpone military training

Republic of Korea (ROK)-US Alliance has postponed combined command post training after the ROK government declared the highest alert level on Covid-19.

Diamond Princess cases rise to 705

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has announced that the total cases associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship has increased to 705. Authorities tested 4,061 people.

Italy reports new cases

– Italy has reported that the total number of cases has risen to 400 in the country. It has not reported any new deaths which currently stand at 12.

First cases in Pakistan, Norway, Georgia and North Macedonia 

– Pakistan has reported its first two cases. The infected had a history of travelling to Iran. The patients are reported to be stable.

– Norway recorded its first case of Covid-19 in a person who returned from China. Local media stated that the patient is stable and shows no symptoms.

– A Georgian national tested positive, the first in the country. The man came from Azerbaijan and was travelling from Iran. The man’s travel companions tested negative for the virus, but are under quarantine.

– North Macedonia also reported its first case. The woman travelled to the country from Italy.

Italy reports one new death; 52 new cases

– Italy’s Ministry of Health has reported 374  infections in the country of which 12 people have died. One person has recovered.

Japan reports one new death

– With one new death in Japan, the nation’s death toll rised to six, including four fatalities from the Diamond Princess ship.

– The latest casualty, which occurred in Tokyo, is said to be a male in his 80s.

Greece confirms first case

– Greece has reported its first case in a 38-year-old national who visited northern Italy, according to health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras.

Iran death toll reaches 19; Kuwait reports six new cases

– With three new reported deaths, Iran’s death toll climbs up to 19 with 139 confirmed cases.

– Kuwait confirms six additonal positive cases, bringing the total to 18 cases.

France reports second death

– French health authorities have reported second death. The fatality, a 60-year-old French man in Paris, is one of the new cases reported in the country. The total infections in France stands at 18.

– UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority told Reuters that it is well-prepared to tackle the ‘worst case scenario’ of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bahrain confirms nine cases

– Bahrain has confirmed nine new cases to the previous 17, taking the total to 26. The country has started screening passengers arriving from affected countries. People who have visited Iran in February have been asked to get tested.

– KCDC reported an additional 115 cases and one death, taking the total to 1,261 confirmed cases and 12 deaths.

– A second evacuation flight sent by Malaysia repatriated 66 citizens from Wuhan. The plane landed today at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

– Thailand confirmed three new cases, taking total infections to 40. Health ministry said that two of the new cases had returned from holidays in Japan and came into contact with the third.

– Kuwait reported new coronavirus infections, which increase the total in the country to 12.

– US Forces Korea stated that a US service member stationed in South Korea tested positive.

Death toll passes 2,750; recoveries rise

– The number of deaths due to coronavirus has increased to more than 2,750 as of the end of 25 February.

– The number of infected cases has risen to around 81,000 while the recovered cases exceeded 30,000.

South Korea reports new cases

– KCDC has reported an additional 169 new cases, taking the total to 1,146. With new deaths reported, the total number of deaths in the country stands at 11.    

25 Feb: 

Algeria reports first case; second African country with confirmed cases

– Algeria reported its first positive case – an Italian adult who arrived in the African country on 17 February. This represents the second case in Africa.

– Jamaica and the Cayman Islands denied entry to Meraviglia cruise ship as it carried a sick crew member who travelled to countries with confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Switzerland confirmed its first Covid-19 case in canton of Ticino. Swiss health ministry noted the man was in Italy approximately ten days ago when he attended an event near Milan.

– Italy has reported 322 confirmed cases and 11 deaths with one recovery, as of the end of 25 February.

– Brazil reports its first case of the coronavirus.

– El Salvador bans visitors from Italy and South Korea. Salvadoran citizens arriving from these countries will face 30-day quarantine.

Iran Deputy Health Minister tests positive; one more death reported

– Iranian Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for the coronavirus, confirmed health ministry spokesman.

– The country has reported 95 confirmed cases of the virus with 16 deaths so far. The Health Ministry has asked citizens to stay at home.

– Austria has announced its first two cases of the Covid-19 in Tyrol province that shares a border with Italy.

– Croatia has reported its first case of the coronavirus in the country. The patient is a young person and has mild symptoms who was in Milan from 19 to 21 February.

– Bahrain’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of eight cases, including six new cases – two Bahraini and four Saudi citizens who arrived from Iran via Dubai.

– With three new confirmations, Kuwait’s total Covid-19 cases increased to eight. KUNA  news agency noted that all the three new cases had returned from Iran.

– Iran has reported three additional deaths due to Covid-19, taking the death toll to 15 with 61 confirmed cases.

– Iraq has announced four new positive cases in Kirkuk province, bringing the total to five. The cases were identified in a Iraqi family who travelled to Iran.

– South Italy has recorded its first positive case of the coronavirus. The woman, who was on a holiday in Sicily, was sent to the hospital and her husband and friends were put under a 15-day quarantine.

– With 84 new cases in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 977. Two additional deaths are also confirmed, rising the total to ten.

– Thailand health officials confirmed two new coronavirus Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 37. Both of the new cases are said to be Thai citizens.

Diamond Princess update: Japan reports fourth death; Philippines and India to send flights

– NHK reported that another passenger from the Diamond Princess has died, taking the total deaths from the ship to four. The deceased was around 80 years old and from Japan.

– Japan asked schools to temporarily close, even if there are no confirmed cases in the school.

– The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs has sent two flights to repatriate approximately 400 citizens who were on the Diamond Princess cruise.

– India has also started arrangements for a charter flight to evacuate around 120 citizens on the ship.

Death toll nears 2,700; recoveries exceed 27,000

– The number of deaths due to Covid-19 has neared 2,700, as of the end of 24 February.

– The number of positive cases has exceeded 80,000 worldwide and the number of recoveries stands at more than 27,000.

South Korea reports 60 new cases and one new death

– South Korea has reported 60 additional cases, the smallest increase in its confirmed cases so far. There are now 893 positive cases in South Korea.

– The KCDC also announced one more death in the country, taking the total to eight.

24 Feb: 

– Spain confirms third case in an Italian male who was on a holiday in Tenerife.

– Italy reported seven deaths in total with 229 total confirmed cases in the country, as of the end of 24 February.

– Oman’s Ministry of Health confirmed first coronavirus cases in two women who returned from Iran.

– Kuwait and Bahrain report additional cases, increasing the total to five and two, respectively. The new patients in Kuwait are said to have arrived from Mashhad, Iran.

US CDC confirms 53 cases of coronavirus

– The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there are 53 cases of the Covid-19 in the country, as of 24 February.

– Of the 53 cases, 14 are in the country, including two new cases in California. The remaining 39 are citizens repatriated from Diamond Princess cruise ship.

– Iraq confirmed its first coronavirus Covid-19 case in Najaf city.

– Italy reported two more deaths, rising the total to five. The government has put nearly 50,000 people in 11 towns in Lombardy and Veneto under quarantine.

– Afghanistan confirmed its first case of Covid-19 coronavirus.

– South Korea reported 70 new additional cases to total 833.

Iran official states 50 deaths in the country; govt denies claims

– ILNA news agency has quoted a Qom official Ahmad Amiriabadi Farahani as saying that the death toll in the country stood at 50 on 13 February.

– However, the officials have stated on 24 February that death toll has increased 12, including four additional deaths reported today.

– Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has rejected the claims of cover-up. He stated that it was ‘not the time for political confrontations’.

– Farahani denied to retract his statement.

Kuwait, Bahrain confirm first cases 

– The Ministry of Health in Bahrain has reported the first coronavirus case – a citizen who returned from Iran.

– Three cases have been confirmed in Kuwait, reported local news agency KUNA, which said that the individuals just returned from Iran.

Diamond Princess update: one more death reported

– Another Japanese passenger, a man in his 80s has died from the Covid-19 coronavirus. The total cases on Diamond Princess is 691 with three deaths.

Iran’s neighbours close borders

– Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan imposed travel and immigration restrictions on Iran, which was the first to report deaths in the Middle East region.

– Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Armenia also closed their borders with Iran.

Death toll exceeds 2,600; South Korea reports 161 new cases

Death toll due to Covid-19 coronavirus increased to more than 2,600, as of the end of 23 February.

– The number of confirmed cases rises to more than 79,000, with the cases in Mainland China crossing 77,000.

– South Korea has announced 161 new positive cases of the coronavirus, bringing its total to 763, with seven deaths in the country. The government raised infectious disease alert to the highest.

Italy reports third death and new cases

– Italy has now become the most affected country in Europe with more than 150 Covid-19 cases. The country also reported third death from the new virus.

– Coronavirus ‘hotspot’ towns have been sealed to control the spread. The country also halted public gatherings, including suspension of the Venice carnival.

Israel confirms second case

– An Israeli who returned from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has tested positive, said Sheba Medical Center. This increases the country’s total to two.

23 Feb:

UK reports four new cases; total 13

– The UK

Iran reports two more deaths

– Two additional deaths have occurred in Iran, taking the total to eight, according to the country’s health minister. The total number of cases in the nation reached 43.

South Korea reports fifth death, new cases

– The KCDC in South Korea has reported one additional death, taking the total to five. Also, with 46 new cases, the total number of infections reach 602.

Singapore reports new cases

– Singapore authorities have confirmed a total of 89 cases to date. The country’s health ministry also reported a total of 51 recoveries.

Four more Indian passengers on Diamond Princess test positive

– Four additional Indian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine in Japan have tested positive. This rises the number of Indian cases on the ship to 12.

Cases and deaths rise in South Korea

– The total number of cases in South Korea have increased to 556. Majority of the new cases are linked to the Shincheonji church or Cheongdo Daenam hospital cluster.

– The country also reported two new deaths, which increase the total to four.

Italy records cases surge

The number of infections in Italy have surged to 79, representing nearly four times growth from the last count of 20.

Death toll rises to 2,458; Iran reports sixth death

– Death toll has increased to 2,458, including 2,443 deaths in China, as of the end of 22 February. The total number of cases climbed to more than 78,600.

– One new death has occurred in Iran on 22 February, taking the total to six, reported the country’s media. 

22 Feb:

– The US, UAE, Israel and Lebanon have reported additional cases.

Death toll rises to 2,360; Iran reports two deaths

– The death toll due to Covid-19 has reached 2,360, including two more deaths confirmed in Iran as of the end of 21 February. The total number of deaths in Iran is now four.

– The total number of confirmed cases around the world increased to 77,659 with 76,288 cases in Mainland China. The number of recoveries also increases to more than 20,000.

Italy reports one death

– Italy announced one death in the country in Padova in the Veneto region. The deceased was a 78-year-old man.

– The country has also reported 16 additional cases, bringing the total to 20.

21 Feb:

Italy confirms one new case

– Italy has confirmed one new case of Covid-19, bringing the total to four cases in the country. Previously, two Chinese nationals and one Italian were tested positive.

– The positive case was confirmed in a 38-year-old man in the Lombardy region, who is now admitted in a hospital in Codogno.

Cases in South Korea rise to 204

– The total confirmed cases in South Korea have surged to 204, most of which were found in the Daegu city.

– Officials have banned downtown rallies and closed a park, in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Diamond Princess update

– The flight carrying around 200 Canadian citizens has taken off from Tokyo airport. After landing in Ontario, Canada, the passengers will undergo additional 14 days of quarantine.

– Flight to evacuate Britons from the cruise ship will take off on 21 February, one day after the previously announced date.

China reports more than 200 cases in prisons

– China has reported more than 200 positive cases in two prisons outside of Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Young doctor in Wuhan dies

– Covid-19 has claimed the life of a 29-year-old doctor who worked at First People’s Hospital in Wuhan.

– Named Peng Yinhua, the doctor, who delayed his wedding to continue working, was admitted to hospital on 25 January and succumbed to the coronavirus disease on 20 January.

US reports one new case; total 16

– A new case has been reported in Humboldt County, California, increasing the number of cases in the country to 16.

Cases in South Korea rise to 156

– With 52 new infections reported in South Korea, the country’s total surged to 156 cases. Of the new cases, 39 were traced to the Shincheonji church cluster.

– Government has strengthened measures to control the spread, and declared Daegu and Cheongdo cities as ‘special care zones’.

Death toll reaches 2,247

– The deaths due to Covid-19 have reached 2,247, with majority of the deaths in Mainland China, as of the end of 20 February.

– The total number of confirmed cases increased to more than 76,000, with more than 75,400 in mainland China. The number of recoveries stands at around 18,200. 

Two Australian evacuees from Diamond Princess test positive

– Two Diamond Princess passengers tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Australia after around 170 Australians were evacuated from the ship on 20 February. The total number of cases on the ship reached 634.

Ukraine protesters attack China evacuee buses

– Protesters in a Ukrainian town have attacked buses carrying evacuees from China. The evacuees were being transported to a hospital in Novi Sanzhary.

– All evacuees tested negative during official screening. The protest comes after a fake email, which was claimed to be from the Ministry of Health, said some evacuees had contracted the virus.

– Ukraine’s security service (SSU) said that the false email is being investigated. According to media reports, nine police and one civilian were hospitalised, while more than ten protesters were detained.

20 Feb:

Iran reports three new cases

– As of the end of 20 February, Iran has confirmed three new Covid-19 cases a day after the death of two elderly citizens in the country.

India plans to limit drug exports

– India plans to restrict export of antibiotics and vitamins as supply from China is disrupted due to coronavirus Covid-19.

One death reported in South Korea

– The KCDC reported the death of a coronavirus patient linked to the Cheongdon Daenam hospital cluster.

– The agency also confirmed 22 new cases since the last count, taking the total to 104. Out of 21 new cases, five were related to Shincheonji Church of Jesus cluster, 13 with Cheongdo Daenam hospital and one with Saeronan oriental hospital.

South Korea confirms 31 new cases to total 82

– The KCDC in South Korea has confirmed 31 new cases taking the total to 82. Of the new cases, 23 have been traced to the 31st case who attended Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu.

Diamond Princess updates

– Two Japanese passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died from the novel coronavirus. Both the patients were in their 80s with underlying health conditions, reported local media. This increases Covid-19 deaths to 2,128.

– Approximately 180 Australians repatriated from the cruise have landed in Darwin and will be subjected to a second 14-day quarantine period.

Death toll reaches 2,126; Iran reports two deaths

– Covid-19 deaths have reached 2,126, including two deaths in Iran, as of the end of 19 February. The deceased in Iran were two elderly citizens in Qom city, said Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to the country’s health minister.

– The total number of cases rose to more than 75,700, including 74,576 in mainland China. The number of recoveries also increased to approximately 16,300.

19 Feb:

Diamond Princess cases increase to 621

– The Japanese ministry announced that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has increased to 621 of the 3,011 people tested. This represents an increase of 79 cases from the last count.

Hong Kong reports second death

– Hong Kong reported its second Covid-19 death – a 70-year-old man, who had underlying illnesses and was receiving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Passengers on Diamond Princess disembark

– Passengers who have tested negative started disembarking from the cruise ship after a 14-day quarantine period.

South Korea reports 19 new cases to total 51

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported 19 new cases, which increase the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 51.

– Epidemiological investigation revealed that 11 of the new cases are contacts of the 31st case.

Death toll passes 2,000; New recoveries exceed new infections

– Deaths from the new coronavirus have increased to more than 2,000, including 2,004 in mainland China, as of the end of 18 February.

– For the first time, the number of newly recovered patients exceeded that of new confirmed cases in China. In mainland China, 1,749 new cases were confirmed on 18 February, while 1,824 patients newly recovered.

– The total number of infections climbed to more than 75,000.

18 Feb:

Singapore, Hong Kong report new cases

– Singapore health ministry confirmed four new Covid-19 cases, which rise the total to 81. The ministry also reported a total of 29 recoveries to date.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong reported two new cases to total 62.

Diamond Princess cases reach 542; Taiwan plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare confirmed that the number of cases on Diamond Princess has reached 542 of the 2,404 people tested.

– Taiwan announced plans to fly back its nationals who are onboard the cruise. Of more than 20 Taiwanese on the vessel, four have tested positive.

South Korea confirms 31st case

–  The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has reported the country’s 31st case –  a 61-year-old South Korean woman currently in isolation.

UK and South Korea plan Diamond Princess evacuations

– South Korea is set to send an aircraft to Japan to bring back five passengers onboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. The aircraft will take off today at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Seoul.

– The UK government is also planning to send a flight to Japan to evacuate its citizens from the ship.

Deaths increase to 1,873; infections rate drops

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,873, with 98 new deaths in China, as of the end of 17 February. The total number of infection cases has exceeded 73,000, including 72,436 cases in mainland China.

– Chinese authorities have reported that new coronavirus confirmed cases outside the Hubei province recorded a drop for 14 consecutive days since 3 February.

17 Feb:

Update: More than 200 Australian evacuees return home

– More than 200 Australian evacuees from Wuhan return home after 14 days of quarantine on Christmas Island. None of the evacuees tested positive during the quarantine period.

Singapore confirms two new cases to total 77

– Singapore ministry of health confirmed two new cases – a one year-old male evacuee from Wuhan and a 35 year-old male with no recent travel history to China. These new cases take the country’s total Covid-19 cases to 77.

Diamond Princess – cases rise to 454; 14 new US passengers test positive; Australia plans repatriation

– The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced that the number of cases on the cruise ship has further risen to 454 of the 1,723 people tested.

– The US Departments of State and Health and Human Services announced that after citizens disembarked the ship, 14 passengers, who underwent tests two to three days earlier, had tested positive. These patients were asymptomatic and have been isolated in a special containment area on the evacuation aircraft.

– Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that the country will repatriate more than 200 Australians and New Zealanders onboard the cruise ship.  An aircraft will be sent to Japan on 19 February.

Thailand reports 35th case

– Thailand has reported a new Covid-19 case, which increases the nation’s total to 35. The new patient is a 60-year-old Chinese woman whose family members were diagnosed earlier.

New cases on Diamond Princess

– The total number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has increased to 355, including three Israelis and two new Indian nationals taking the country’s total onboard to five.

– Israel is considering sending a flight to fly back the remaining Israelis, who have not tested positive, from Japan.

– The Philippines authorities have confirmed 16 new cases onboard the ship, taking the total number of infected Filipinos on the cruise to 27.

Death toll reaches 1,775; Taiwan reports first death

– The coronavirus Covid-19 death toll has reached 1,775 with 105 new deaths in China and one in Taiwan, as of the end of 16 February.

– In Taiwan, a 61-year-old man with a history of diabetes and hepatitis B had died after contracting Covid-19, marking the first novel coronavirus-related death in the country.

– The total number of infection cases has increased to more than 71,000, including 70,548 in mainland China.

16 Feb: 

Update: UAE reports ninth case; Germany releases 100 from quarantine

– The Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE reported the ninth novel coronavirus case in the country. The new patient is a 37-year old Chinese who was diagnosed during a routine check-up.

– At a military base near Frankfurt airport, 100 German evacuees from Wuhan, China were released from their two-week quarantine after none of them tested positive.

South Korea confirms 29th Covid-19 case

– The South Korean government reported a new coronavirus Covid-19 case  on Sunday, which marks the country’s 29th case.

– The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said that the new patient, aged 82-years, contracted virus with no history of overseas travel or contact with any confirmed patients.

Covid-19 deaths climb to 1,669 

– The coronavirus Covid-19 deaths have claimed further to 1,669 with 142 new deaths in China and one in France as of the end of 15 February. The total number of deaths in mainland China reached 1,665.

– The total number of positive cases surged to 69,186 with 68,500 cases in Mainland China.

– The severe cases are said to be 11,273, while total recoveries stand at 9,600.

15 Feb: 

France reports first covid-19 death; Malaysia, Thailand report new cases

– France reported its first covid-19 death today, which also marks the first death outside Asia.

– French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn confirmed the death of an 80-year old Chinese tourist, who travelled to France from the Hubei province on January 16.

– Malaysia has reported two new coronavirus covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total infected cases in the country to 21, while Thailand has reported a new case taking the country’s total to 34.

US to airlift Americans on board Diamond Princess; India making efforts

– US is planing to airlift its nationals from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess.

– US embassy in Japan has informed all the American passengers and crew on board about this decision in an email.

– Diamond Princess has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections outside China so far.

– Indian Embassy in Japan also said on Saturday that it is making efforts to evacuate all the Indians on board the cruise ship.

Death toll touches 1,526; Egypt reports first case

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,526, with 143 new deaths reported, as of the end of 13 February.

– The number of new cases increased to more than more than 67,000 of which 66,492 infections are reported in Mainland China. 

– Egypt has confirmed its first case of the Covid-19 and has stated that the affected is a ‘foreigner’ who was asymptomatic.

14 Feb:

Facebook, IBM cancel conference plans over coronavirus fears

– Facebook announced the cancellation of its Global Marketing Summit scheduled to take place from 9 March to 15 March in San Francisco, US.

– IBM pulled out of the annual RSA cybersecurity conference, which is set start on 24 February in San Francisco.

Passengers on Westerdam cruise ship disembark

– Westerdam cruise ship, which docked in Cambodia after being turned away by five countries over the fear of the coronavirus, has received permission to disembark its guests after 20 samples taken onboard tested negative.

Death toll rises to 1,383

Deaths from the new coronavirus Covid-19 increased to 1,383, including the latest one in Japan. The total number of deaths in mainland China is 1,380. The total number of infections reached 64,429, including 63,911 in China, Hong Kong and Macau

13 Feb:

Japan reports first Covid-19 death

– Japan health minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed the first Covid-19 death in the country – a woman in her 80s whose infection was reported to have been confirmed after death.

– The total number of cases in Japan reached 248, including 218 from the quarantined cruise ship and 30 in the country.

New cases in US, Malaysia, Vietnam and Hong Kong

– The US CDC announced 15th case in the country – a recent evacuee quarantined at JBSA-Lackland in Texas.

– Malaysia health director-general has confirmed the nation’s 19th case, a 39-year-old woman who returned from Wuhan, China. The woman is reported to be related to 14th and 16th Covid-19 cases confirmed in the country.

– The number of cases in Vietnam has increased to 16, after a 50-year old man tested positive in Son Loi town. Local authorities have put Son Loi, which recorded a total of eight cases, on lockdown for 20 days.

– Hong Kong authorities have reported a new case, which takes the total to 51.

Deaths increase to 1,369; Hubei sees infections surge

– Covid-19 death toll has increased to 1,369, indicating 254 new deaths, as of the end of 12 February.

– The number of new cases saw a surge of about 15,200, from approximately 45,100 to more than 60,300. This jump is due to 14,840 new cases confirmed in Hubei Province alone.

– Japanese health minister confirmed 44 new cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, increasing the total to 219, including a quarantine officer.

12 Feb:

Mobile World Congress cancelled

– The largest global mobile event, Mobile World Congress, has been cancelled over coronavirus fears.

– The decision is said to be based on ‘the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances’.

– This comes after various exhibitors, including Facebook, Amazon, Sony, Nokia and LG said that they would be pulling out of the event.

UK reports ninth case; US confirms second case among evacuees

– England chief medical officer has comfirmed that the number of coronavirus cases in the country had increased to nine.

– The US CDC confirmed a second case among evacuees quarantined in California, rising the total cases in the country to 14.

DBS evacuates 300 after one is infected

– Singapore’s DBS bank has evacuated 300 employees after one employee was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. With three new cases reported, the total cases in Singapore touched 50, one of the highest outside China.

Japan cruise cases increase to 174

– The total confirmed cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, quarantined in Japan, have surged to 174, in addition to the positive case of a quarantine officer.

Death toll reaches 1,115; recoveries rise

Deaths from the new coronavirus have reached 1,115, while the total number of cases exceeded 45,100, including 44,653 reported in mainland China by authorities as of the end of 11 February.

– According to NHC official Mi Feng, the proportion of recovered patients in China increased to 8.2% as of 10 February, from 1.3% on 27 January.

11 Feb:

WHO gives name to new coronavirus disease

– The WHO has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus as ‘Covid-19’.

– Ukraine is screening five of its citizens for the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Zoriana Skaletska said at a press briefing on 11 February.

– According to Skaletska, three of the five suspected patients returned from China while the remaining two were in contact with them.

– Germany confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in Bavaria, raising the total cases in the country to 16.

– The Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong has reported seven new coronavirus infection cases, taking the toal to 49.

– After two cases were confirmed in the same building, Hong Kong government evacuated all of its more than 100 residents to control the spread of the infection. The confirmed cases were residing on different floors of the building.

– Vietnam’s health ministry confirmed a new case, who is a three-month-old baby thought to be infected by her grandparent. The total number of cases in the country stand at 15.

– With 108 new deaths in China, the total toll has reached 1,018. NHC report shows 42,638 confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China, as of the end of 10 February, which takes the number of global cases to around 43,000.

10 Feb:

UAE, US report new cases; Infections on cruise nearly double

– Eighth case has been confirmed in the UAE, an Indian national who had contact with a recently diagnosed person.

– The US CDC reported a new case in California, who was one of the evacuees from Wuhan. This rises the total cases in the country to 13.

– The number of cases on the Diamond Princess cruise quarantined in Japan have nearly doubled, with 135 total cases on board. As of 9 February, 70 cases were confirmed on the Diamond Princess.

UK declares imminent threat as four more cases confirmed

– The UK government has declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘serious and imminent threat to public health’.

– Four new cases have been diagnosed in the UK, doubling the total confirmed cases to eight.

– WHO has noted that cases of the new coronavirus among people who have not travelled to China could be the ‘tip of the iceberg’. The agency has sent members of its international expert mission team to help China deal with the outbreak.

Death toll surges to 910; Malaysia confirms sixth citizen case

Death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic has surged to 910, as of the end of 09 February, including 97 new deaths from the day before.

– The total number of cases stands at ‭40,547 globally, of which 40,171 are in mainland China. NHC report shows a total of 3,281 recoveries in the region.

– Malaysia health director confirmed the sixth citizen case of coronavirus infection, a 31-year-old man who worked in Macau, China and returned to Malaysia on  1 February. This takes the total coronavirus cases in the country to 18.

09 Feb:

UK reports fourth coronavirus case

– UK has reported its fourth coronavirus case on Sunday.

– England’s chief medical officer professor Chris Whitty said in a statement that the new patient is a known contact of one of UK’s existing cases and has reportedly contracted virus in France.

– The patient has now been moved to NHS centre at The Royal Free Hospital, and being treated using robust infection control measures to contain further spread of the virus.

Death toll passes 800 in China; Overtakes SARS

– The number of coronavirus deaths reached 813 globally as of the end of 8 February, overtaking the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2002-2003 that claimed 774 lives.

– Of the total fatalities, 811 were reported in mainland China and one each in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

– New cases have now touched 37,549 worldwide, of which 37,198 represent mainland China.

– China’s National Health Commission reported 2,656 new confirmed cases, 3,916 new suspected cases, 87 serious cases, and 89 deaths on Saturday alone.

– NHC also reported 600 new recovered cases on Saturday, taking the overall cured cases in mainland China to 2,649 as of Saturday.

08 Feb:

France reports five new cases; UAE confirms two

– France and UAE have confirmed two new cases today, taking their respective totals to 11 and seven.

– France health minister said Saturday that five British nationals in the country have been tested positive for coronavirus. The new cases, including a child, were staying in the same ski chalet and reportedly contracted virus after coming into contact with a Brit, who recently travelled to Singapore.

– The United Arab Emirates too reported two new cases on Saturday. The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention added that the two patients, a Chinese and a Filipino national, are under observation.

– China has opened a second prefabricated hospital  with 1,600 beds in Wuhan to treat patients infected with coronavirus.

US and Japanese citizens die in Wuhan

– US embassy has confirmed that an American citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died in Wuhan on 06 February. This is the first known death of a US national due to the new coronavirus.

– A 60-year-old Japanese man with suspected coronavirus infection also died in Wuhan today.

Death toll passes 700; Hong Kong enforces quarantine

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 700 as of the end of 07 February, with China reporting 86 new deaths. Death toll now stands at 724, while a total of 34,881 cases have been confirmed. Of the 34,546 cases in mainland China, 6,101 are serious.

– Hong Kong began imposing a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving from mainland China. Visitors must quarantine themselves in hotel rooms or government-run centres, while returning nationals must stay inside their homes. 

07 Feb:

Death toll hits 638; Chinese whistleblower doctor dies

Death toll from the new coronavirus stands at 638, as of the end of 06 February. A total of ‭31,428‬ infection cases have been confirmed, including 31,161 in mainland China.

– The Chinese doctor who had reportedly tried to issue an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak has died after contracting the virus while working at a hospital in Wuhan.

– Japan reported 41 new cases of coronavirus infection on a cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama harbour. This raises the total positive cases on the ship to 61.

– The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) in Taiwan has confirmed three new imported cornavirus cases, taking the nation’s total to 16.

06 Feb:

Third case confirmed in the UK; India evacuees test negative

– England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Witty has confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the UK.

– As of the end of 05 February, the coronavirus has led to 565 deaths, including 73 new deaths compared to 4 February in mainland China. The total number of confirmed cases is 28,275. Of the 28,049 confirmed cases in China, 3,859 are reported to be severe cases. So far, 1,153 patients have recovered in mainland China.

– Indian authorities confirmed that all 645 of the country’s evacuees from Wuhan tested negative for the coronavirus.

– Japanese health officials said ten more passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Two new cases on Vietnam increase its total to 12, while the number of cases in Singapore reached 30.

05 Feb:

Death toll reaches 492; Japan confirms ten cases on cruise

– With 65 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 492, while the number of infected cases has surged to nearly 24,527, as of the end of 04 February, said Chinese authorities. Of the 24,324 confirmed cases in mainland China, 3,219 cases are in serious condition.

– After screening passengers on a cruise ship, named Diamond Princess, the Japanese authorities confirmed ten positive cases. These patients include three Japanese, two Australians, three from Hong Kong, one from the US and a Filipino crewmember.

– Health authorities confirmed that two Malaysian evacuees, a 45-year-old man and his nine-year-old son, from Wuhan have tested positive for the new coronavirus. This increases the number of cases in the country to 12 – nine Chinese nationals and three Malaysians.

– US confirmed a new case in Wisconsin, an adult who travelled to Beijing, China. This brings the total number of cases in the country to 12.

04 Feb:

Malaysia reports first citizen infected; Belgium confirms first case

– A 41-year-old man, who travelled to Singapore for a conference, has become the first Malaysian to be infected by coronavirus. The Malaysian is one of the two new cases confirmed while the other being a Chinese national aged 61. This brings the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to ten, including nine Chinese nationals.

– Belgium has confirmed its first coronavirus case after one of the nine individuals repatriated from Wuhan tested positive for the virus.

– Deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus have surged to 427, as of the end of 03 February. The number of confirmed cases reached 20,623, while 646 infected patients have recovered.

– Hong Kong has reported its first death case, marking the second one outside mainland China, following the Philippines. A 39-year-old man who travelled from Wuhan died on Tuesday in Hong Kong.

– Medical staff strike in Hong Kong continues, while the city closed more cross-boundary control points to China and left two only points open.

03 Feb:

Australia brings back 243 citizens; Hong Kong medical staff on strike

– A Qantas aircraft carrying 243 Australian citizens and permanent residents, including 89 individuals aged under 16, from Wuhan has landed at RAAF base Learmonth in Western Australia.

– Hundreds of hopsital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the closure of the city’s border with China to minimise the risk of coronavirus spreading.

– The 1000-bed Huoshenshan hospital built within ten days for coronavirus patients in Wuhan is now ready.

– Novel coronavirus has claimed 362 lives so far, including one in the Philippines, as of the end of 02 February. A total of 17,386 cases have been recorded globally. Of the 17,238 cases reported in China, 2,296 are severe.

– India reported a new coronavirus case on Monday, taking the total confirmed cases in the country to three – all from the southern state of Kerala.

– US confirmed two new cases late on 2 February, rising the nation’s total to 11.

02 Feb:

Death toll soars to 305; First coronavirus patient outside China dies in Philippines

– Coronavirus deaths have gone past 300 as of the end of 01 February, with China reporting 304 deaths and the Philippines confirming its first death of a 44-year old  Chinese man from Wuhan city.

– The Philippines case also marked the first death outside China, since it first broke out in Wuhan city on 31 December 2019.

– Coronavirus infected cases have soared on Saturday with over 3,000 new cases, taking the total to an alarming 14,413, according to Chinese health authorities.

– Suspected cases are nearing 20,000 mark, standing at 19,544 as of 01 February.

– Chinese government called for culling of chickens in Shaoyang city following an H5N1 bird flu outbreak in Hunan province.

01 Feb:

Death toll hits 259; Coronavirus reaches Russia, Spain, Sweden

– With 46 new deaths in China, the toll has reached 259, while the number of infected cases has touched 11,374 across a total of 26 countries.

– Spreading its roots further, coronavirus reached three more countries as of 01 February. Russia reported two first cases while Spain and Sweden reported one each.

– US denies entry to foreign nationals who have visited China in the last two weeks.

– No deaths are reported outside mainland China.

– Australia on Saturday announced that it would bar entry to non-citizens coming from China.

– In a sigh of relief, Chinese health authorities announced on 01 February that 243 coronavirus had been discharged from hospitals after recovery by the end of Friday. 

31 Jan:

Death toll hits 213; WHO declares global emergency; UK confirms first cases

– Death toll from the virus has touched 213 and the number of infected cases increased to 9,776, as of the end of Thursday.

– First coronavirus suspect in New Zealand announced.

– NHS England chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the UK.

– Thailand reported its first case of domestic transmission, while China sent flights to bring back Wuhan citizens from Thailand and Malaysia.

– Mongolia and Singapore closed their borders to China to contain the virus.

– WHO emergency committee has declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern.

30 Jan:

Russia closes 2,700 mile border; US reports first domestic case

– Russia has reported first suspected case, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed an order to immediately close 2,700 mile border with China.

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has confirmed its first case of person-to-person transmission.

– The number of deaths from the virus have reached 170 as of late 29 January, with a total of 7,783 people infected, of which 7,678 are in mainland China.

– India and the Philippines have confirmed their first cases, while Italy confirmed two cases.

– The number of affected countries so far is 23, including China.

– A plane has taken off from Portugal to evacuate people from various European countries from Wuhan. The UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab confirmed UK citizens will be evacuated tomorrow morning – Spanish nationals will also be simultaneously repatriated as part of a joint operation between the two countries. 

29 Jan:

Death toll touches 132; UAE and Germany confirm four cases

– As of the end of Tuesday, China has confirmed 132 deaths and a total of 5,974 infected cases, including 1,459 new cases. At least 86 cases are reported in other countries.

– Finland has confirmed its first case.

– Four members of the same Chinese family in the UAE have been infected with coronavirus, while Germany confirms three more cases taking its total to four.

– US evacuates nationals from Wuhan, India to send plane tonight to airlift 250 citizens from Wuhan.

– Australia has confirmed a second case in Victoria and a first in Queensland bringing the confirmed Australian cases to seven.

– New Zealand will join Australia to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan in China.

Australian researchers have become the first to recreate new coronavirus outside of China.

– UK plans to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan. British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China. 

28 Jan:

Japan, Taiwan and Germany report first domestic transmission

– Japan, Taiwan and Germany confirm their first cases of domestic transmission of coronavirus.

– Japan sends a chartered flight to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens.

– Germany and Cambodia have reported their first cases late Monday, marking a further spread of the deadly virus to newer regions.

–  China has issued the latest coronavirus update, confirming 107 deaths so far, followed by 4,515 confirmed and 6,973 suspected cases.

– In an attempt to limit the spread of virus, Hong Kong plans to limit the transport with mainland China from 30 January.

– Chinese researchers are exploring the use of natural products and their traditional medicines to combat coronavirus.

– China has suspended trading on its two major stock exchanges, Shanghai and Shenzhen, until next Monday to prevent panic selling as coronavirus fears grow. 

– Air Canada and Finnair have cancelled some flights to China.

– White House may suspend flights to China.

– Sri Lanka suspends visa on arrival for Chinese nationals.

27 Jan:

Sri Lanka reports first coronavirus case; More countries look to evacuate nationals

– Sri Lanka has reported its first coronavirus case of a 40-year old woman tourist from Hubei province in China, a senior Sri Lankan health official confirmed on Monday.

– Spain and Portugal are the two new countries after the US and France that are looking to evacuate their nationals from Wuhan city.

– US, Taiwan and Singapore have announced their respective fifth cases of the deadly coronavirus, while South Korea reported its fourth.

– Malaysia has imposed a temporary ban on Chinese visitors from the city of Wuhan and its surrounding Hubei province.

– The death toll has increased to 81 and the confirmed cases in China to 2,744, with about half of them from Hubei province.

26 Jan:

US, France to evacuate nationals from Wuhan; WHO changes risk to ‘high; Mexico confirms first case

– The US government has announced a special flight between Wuhan and San Francisco to evacuate all American citizens from the stricken city on 28 Jan.

– The US has also confirmed its third case in Orange county, California, while Shanghai reported its first death of an 88-year old man from the deadly virus.

– Mexico reports its first confirmed case, while Ivory Coast is dealing with a suspected case of coronavirus.

– France is preparing to evacuate hundreds of its citizens from Wuhan by air, as the country already reported three confirmed coronavirus cases.

– Hong Kong and Taiwan have tightened restrictions against visitors from Hubei province.

– The World Health Organization revised its previous report on China virus saying that the global risk from the virus is “high” and not “moderate”.

– China’s National Health Commission said on Sunday morning that the country has reported 15 more fatalities on 25-Jan, taking the toll to 56 and reported cases to 1975 thereby raising alarm across the globe.

25 Jan:

Hong Kong announces health emergency; Canada, Nepal report first cases

-Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has declared a health emergency in the city over coronavirus and announced the extension of school break until 17 Feb. Hong Kong cancelled all official visits to China, as the city reported five confirmed cases as of Saturday.

– Canada has reported its first “presumptive” coronavirus case of a 50-year old man who returned from Wuhan, China on 22 Jan, while a Nepali student returned from China tested positive for the new coronavirus.

– Death toll rose to 41 while confirmed cases touched 1320 globally, according to WHO. Of these, 1297 cases were reported in Greater China and 23 were reported outside China.

-China  bans wild animal trade until the coronavirus outbreak eases.

-Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) increased the preventive measures at the railway stations and train compartments.

-Airports Council International (ACI) World issued guidelines ‘Advisory Bulletin: Transmission of Communicable Diseases’ for airports to adopt necessary measures against the virus.

-Cruise operators including Royal Caribbean and MSC, have suspended cruises to China. 

24 Jan:

China implements further travel restrictions; Starts building temporary hospital

-China has imposed travel restrictions on some more cities such as Chibi, Zhijiang, Huangshi, Xiantao, Enshi, Qianjiang and Xianning, according to the People’s Daily newspaper.

-Chinese authorities have initiated construction on a new temporary 1000-bed hospital in Wuhan’s Caidian district with a plan to complete it in a record time of just six days. With high level of safety and protection in place, the new hospital will treat patients of the deadly virus in isolation.

-Toll has increased to 830 confirmed cases in China with 95 patients remaining in critical condition. 

Restaurant chains Starbucks and McDonald’s have announced shut down their stores in China’s Hubei province.

Airports in Malaysia, Canada, Thailand and Uganda implemented different measures to screen passengers who may be infected

Thailand has suspended flights from Chiang Mai Airport to Wuhan until 4 February.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has started temperature screening at all checkpoints on 24 January.

23 Jan:

China implements travel bans; Singapore confirms first case

China has suspended travel to and from Wuhan city.  Hours later, authorities have put two more cities, Huanggang and Ezhou, under a travel ban.

-Doctors used a robot to treat the first US coronavirus patient.

-WHO met again and postponed decision on international health emergency declaration of the deadly virus.

Several US companies have announced plans to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus.

-Beijing cancelled Chinese New Year celebrations. 

22 Jan:

WHO hold on declaring international health emergency

-The virus has infected over 500 people and led to the deaths of 17 people.

-Airports across the world step up screening of passengers coming from Wuhan.

-WHO officials met in Geneva to discuss the need for declaring coronavirus as an international health emergency and decided to wait further.

-Central China’s Henan Province imposed a ban on sale of live poultry to prevent the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. The virus was first identified at Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, the capital of neighbouring Hubei province. 

21 Jan:

US confirms first coronavirus case

US has confirmed its first coronavirus case. The victim, said to be in his 30s, has been admitted at a hospital in Washington upon his return from China.

-China has increased the number of coronavirus infected people to 300 people.

-The virus reached Australia, which announced its coronavirus case. The victim, living in Brisbane, was tested positive with coronavirus after returning from Wuhan city.

-Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US have already started working towards a vaccine against the new, deadly coronavirus. 

20 Jan:

First case detected in South Korea

-Airports in several countries across the world have begun screening of patients showing symptoms of coronavirus.

-China has announced the third death from the deadly virus and over 100 new cases, raising concerns ahead of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year holiday, which begins on 25 January.

-A total of more than 200 cases have been reported in various cities of China.

-A Chinese person who arrived by plane from Wuhan to South Korea was detected with the virus.

-Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced that the virus has to be contained.

-Chinese health experts have confirmed that human-to-human transmission is affirmative.

-One British tourist in Thailand is feared to be infected with coronavirus. 

17 Jan:

China reports second coronavirus death

-China has reported the second fatality, with the virus claiming the life of a 69-year-old man in Wuhan.

-US has initiated screening of passengers arriving from Wuhan at San Francisco, JFK and Los Angeles airports. 

15 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Japan

Japan has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus in a person who stayed in Wuhan.

13 Jan:

First confirmed coronavirus case in Thailand

Coronavirus has spread beyond China, with Thailand reporting the first case of a Chinese woman, returning from a visit to Wuhan, and diagnosed with flu-like symptoms. 

11 Jan:

First coronavirus death reported

A 61-year-old man, who was admitted to hospital on December 27 with suspected fever, dies from the virus in Wuhan. China revises the number of people infected with the virus down to 41. 

9 Jan:

Coronavirus genome sequence released 

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 2019-nCoV is the agent and made the genome sequence available to the world. The new virus is associated to the SARS-CoV group. 

8 Jan:

First suspected coronavirus cases in Thailand

Four suspected flu-like cases have been detected at Chiang Mai International Airport. 

7 Jan:

Virus identified as coronavirus 2019n-CoV

Chinese authorities have identified the virus, called Coronavirus, which is a family of viruses including the common cold, SARS and MERS. Temporarily, this new virus is named as 2019-nCoV. 

6 Jan:

SARS, MERS and bird flu ruled out

Initial investigations into the outbreak ruled out bird flu, seasonal flu, SARS and MERS. The Chinese authorities have reported that the number of suspected cases touched nearly 60 with seven being in critical condition. Human-to-human transmission has not been confirmed yet by the health officials. 

5 Jan:

WHO advises against travel restrictions

WHO has issued a statement that advised against applying any restrictions of travel or trade with China based on the information available. 

3 Jan:

Passengers screened at Wuhan Airport

Passengers arriving from Wuhan airport to Changi airport were put through temperature screening following the flu-like outbreak. 

1 Jan:

Wuhan market identified as outbreak hub

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a seafood market in Wuhan as the suspected hub of the outbreak and the market remained closed since then. 

31 Dec:

First cases detected

China has alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) of several flu-like cases in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province with 11 million population. Patients have been quarantined and health authorities commenced work on tracing the source of the flu. 

This story is developing. Please check in for updates.

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