Coronavirus ‘storm’ as South Africa cases surge: Live updates | Coronavirus pandemic News


  • South Africa has reported 13,497 new coronavirus cases, reaching a total of 264,184 including 3,971 deaths. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warns of a COVID-19 “storm”.

  • Brazil, the worlds number-two coronavirus hotspot after the United States, has recorded 1,071 new deaths from the outbreak, pushing its death toll to 81,469, with a total of 1,839,850 confirmed cases.
  • US President Donald Trump, who has avoided wearing a mask in public even as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, donned one on Saturday at a military medical facility outside Washington, DC where he visited wounded soldiers and front-line healthcare workers.

  • More than 12.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 565,000 have died, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University. More than seven million patients have recovered.

Here are the latest updates.

Sunday, July 12

06:30 GMT – Widow of French bus driver beated to death over masks wants ‘exemplary punishment’

The wife of a French bus driver who died of injuries after he asked four passengers to wear face masks wants “exemplary punishment.”

Four people are in custody for the assault of Philippe Monguillot on July 5 at a bus stop in Bayonne, southwest France.

The Bayonne prosecutor said Monguillot was assaulted after he asked four passengers on his bus to wear face masks, which are required aboard French public transportation because of the coronavirus. He was insulted, pushed off the bus and violently beaten and kicked in the head, the prosecutor said.

President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday dispatched the interior minister to meet the driver’s widow after his death was announced Friday. He had been hospitalised in critical condition.

Veronique Monguillot told minister Gerald Darmanin that she and her three daughters were “destroyed” by the death.

04:51 GMT – China reports seven new cases

Chinese health authorities on Sunday reported seven new coronavirus cases that they said came from abroad and said there were no additional domestic infections, the AP news agency reported.

Four of the confirmed cases reported in the 24 hours through midnight on Saturday were in Tianjin, east of Beijing, two in Shanghai and one in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, the National Health Commission reported.

That raised China’s total number of confirmed cases to 83,594, with 4,634 deaths, according to the NHC.

04:21 GMT – Taiwan holds events as situation returns to normal

Taiwan

The 2020 Taipei Film Festival is the world’s first large-scale film festival held by an entity after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic [Chiang Ying-ying/AP]

Taiwan has wrapped up an annual film festival with an awards ceremony as it stages more public events after keeping its coronavirus outbreak to a few hundred cases, the Associated Press news agency reported on Sunday.

Actors and others lined up for photo shoots with no social distancing on Saturday night, and participants did not wear face masks at the Zhongshan Hall in the capital of the self-governing island off China’s east coast.

Government officials say there have been 451 confirmed coronavirus cases and seven deaths on the island, which has a population of about 23 million.

Also on Saturday, a baseball game in the city of Taichung drew more than 10,000 fans for the first time this season. Health authorities have been gradually allowing larger crowds since the baseball season began in April with no fans.

03:51 GMT – Australia’s Victoria marks week of triple-digit cases

Australia’s Victoria state reported 273 new cases of the coronavirus and another death on Sunday, marking a week of triple-digit increases in infections as state authorities battle fresh outbreaks of the pandemic, Reuters news agency reported.

Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s second-most-populous state, went under a six-week lockdown on Thursday after a spike in community-transmitted cases.

“This is a dangerous time,” Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews told a news conference.

Sunday’s cases – the second-highest for Victoria, home to a quarter of Australia’s 25 million people – follow a record 288 infections reported on Friday. The rise partly reflects increased testing, with the state conducting more than 30,000 tests daily.

03:27 GMT – Germany’s confirmed cases rise to 198,804

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 248 to 198,804, Reuters reported on Sunday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

The reported COVID-19 death toll rose by three to 9,063, the tally showed.

03:00 GMT – Okinawa governor wants tougher action as 61 US Marines infected

Denny Tamaki, the governor of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, has demanded a top US military commander take tougher prevention measures and more transparency hours after officials were told that more than 60 Marines at two bases have been infected over the past few days, the AP reported on Sunday.

Okinawan officials reported a total of 61 cases – 38 of them at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, which is at the centre of a relocation dispute, and another 23 at Camp Hansen – since July 7. They said that US military officials told them the two bases have since been put in lockdown.

The disclosure of the exact figures came only after Okinawa’s repeated requests to the US military.

02:38 GMT – New York COVID-19 hospitalisations drop

The number of New Yorkers hospitalised with the coronavirus infection has fallen to the lowest point in nearly four months.

State officials reported 799 COVID-19 hospitalisations on Saturday, which is the lowest since March 18.

However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is concerned a resurgence in cases is inevitable amid outbreaks in other states.

Earlier, Cuomo told WAMC radio the state’s quarantine rules for travellers returning from hard-hit areas are difficult to enforce. He says the only question is how high New York’s rate will rise.

Coronavirus - New York

Organisers and church workers cover the boxed cremated remains of Mexicans who died of COVID-19 before a service at St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Saturday [Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP]

02:20 GMT – Greece announces 41 new cases

Greek authorities have announced 41 new cases of coronavirus, including 11 incoming tourists, over the past 24 hours. There were no new confirmed deaths.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at 3,772 and 193 deaths.

01:54 GMT – South Korea reports 44 new cases, one death

South Korea’s new cases of infection bounced back on Sunday as cluster infections in the greater Seoul area and the southwestern city of Gwangju continued to increase amid a sustained rise in imported cases, according to Yonhap news agency.

The country added 44 cases, including 21 local infections, taking the total caseload to 13,417, Yonhap reported citing the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The tally marked a rise from 35 new cases reported on Saturday but a slight fall compared with 45 tallied on Friday.

The country also reported one additional death, bringing the death toll to 289.

Seoul, South Korea

Mourners, many wearing masks, gather outside Seoul City Hall on Saturday to pay tribute to the late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon amid the continuing spread of the coronavirus in the city [Ahn Young-joon/AP]

01:35 GMT – Football match called off in Brazil after 14 players found coronavirus positive

Authorities cancelled one of southern Brazil’s biggest footballing derbies less than 24 hours before kick-off on Saturday after 14 members of one side tested positive for COVID-19, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The Santa Catarina state championship restarted on July 8 with four games, including Chapecoense’s 2-0 home win over Avai. The return match was due to kick off on Sunday but was cancelled on the orders of the state’s Health Secretariat.

Santa Catarina state has recorded 42,026 cases of the new coronavirus, with 485 deaths. So far, 71,469 people have died in Brazil, more than any other country outside the US.

01:08 GMT – Italy reports 188 coronavirus infections

Italy has confirmed another 188 coronavirus infections, a third in the hard-hit Lombardy region, according to the AP news agency.

Public health officials say the outbreak remains under control in Italy, the onetime epicentre of the outbreak in Europe, but they are paying attention to clusters of domestic and international infections.

Italy halted all air traffic with Bangladesh and 13 other countries after more than two dozen cases were linked to charter flights of returning Bangladeshi immigrants. On Saturday, eight of the 19 new infections in the Lazio region around Rome were linked to the Bangladeshi community cluster.

Another seven people with the coronavirus died in the past day, bringing Italy’s total confirmed deaths to 34,945.

Italy - coronavirus

Members of the Bangladeshi immigrant community queue to undergo swabs to test for COVID-19 outside a healthcare centre in Rome on Thursday [File: Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP]

00:49 GMT – Mexico reports 6,094 new cases, 539 more deaths

Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 6,094 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 539 additional deaths, bringing the total in the country to 295,268 cases and 34,730 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases, according to Reuters news agency.

00:30 GMT – Native American tribe grapples with coronavirus deaths, infections

Navajo Nation officials have reported 10 additional deaths from COVID-19 as the tribe’s sprawling reservation remains under the latest weekend lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, AP reported.

The Native American tribe’s death toll rose to 396, as tribal officials reported 56 additional confirmed cases, increasing the reservation’s total to nearly 8,100. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

The lockdown began on Friday night and ends at 5am on Monday. All businesses on the Navajo Nation are also required to close during the lockdown.

00:10 GMT – US coronavirus deaths take a long-expected turn for the worse

A long-expected upturn in US coronavirus deaths has begun, driven by fatalities in states in the south and west, according to data on the pandemic.

According to an AP analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily reported deaths in the US has increased from 578 two weeks ago to 664 on July 10.

Daily reported deaths increased in 27 states over that period, but the majority of those states are averaging under 15 new deaths per day. A smaller group of states has been driving the nationwide increase in deaths.

California is averaging 91 reported deaths per day, while Texas is close behind with 66, but Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey and South Carolina also saw sizable rises. New Jersey’s recent jump is thought to be partially attributable to its less frequent reporting of probable deaths.

“It’s consistently picking up. And it’s picking up at the time you’d expect it to,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious diseases researcher.

00:01 GMT – South Africa reports 13,497 new cases

Coronavirus - South Africa

Undertakers wearing personal protective equipment exit the grave of Shaykh Seraj Hassan Hendricks of Azzawia Institute during his funeral in Cape Town on Friday [Nardus Engelbrecht/AP]

South Africa is reporting another 13,497 confirmed coronavirus cases for a total of 264,184 including 3,971 deaths. More than a third of cases are in the new hot spot of Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.

Already, public hospitals are expressing concerns about shortages of available beds and medical oxygen. The percentage of tests that are positive is now over 25 percent, but the National Institute of Infectious Diseases says that could reflect both the rise in infections and more targeted testing.

The country’s health minister has said the “storm” that authorities have been warning citizens about has arrived.

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 11, here.



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