- Brazil’s coronavirus caseload topped two million, doubling in less than a month as the US passed 3.5 million total infections.
- UN aid chief says coronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate”, urging G20 to step up aid or “pay price later”.
- More than 13.7 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while more than 7.7 million have recovered and more than 588,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the latest updates.
Friday, July 17
05:47 GMT – Israel sets new weekend shutdown
Israel’s government imposed a new weekend shutdown to lower infection rates, ordering the closure of malls, shops, pools, zoos and museums from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.
But people will be allowed to leave their homes this weekend, the government said in a statement.
Full weekend lockdowns that could confine people to their homes may be imposed by July 24, after the government gains parliamentary approval for that, Israel Radio reported.
Russia accused of hacking coronavirus vaccine trials (4:08)
05:22 GMT – Philippines to allow some foreigners to enter from August 1
The Philippines will allow foreign nationals with long-term visas into the country from August 1, the presidential spokesman said, but they would need to undergo quarantine upon arrival.
Harry Roque, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte, said long-term visa holders refer to foreigners who have valid visas that allow them to live and work in the country.
Applications for new entry visas will not be accepted and returning Filipinos will have priority on inbound flights given existing caps on airport capacity, authorities said.
05:01 GMT – China’s Urumqi cancels flights after positive case
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.
Epidemic control measures led to the cancellation of more than 600 scheduled flights at Urumqi Diwopu International Airport, or more than 80 percent of the day’s total, figures from aviation data firm Variflight showed.
Urumqi also suspended subway services from late Thursday.
Data taken from information provider Flight Master showed that as of 9:17 am on Fri, 89% of Urumqi airport’s inbound and outbound flights had been canceled, following #Xinjiang‘s announcement that it reported one confirmed and three asymptomatic #COVID19 cases in Urumqi. pic.twitter.com/1RsMBnhwrJ
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) July 17, 2020
04:40 GMT – India’s coronavirus cases cross 1 million
India’s cases of the new coronavirus crossed the million mark, health ministry data showed on Friday, as infections spread out into the smaller towns and the countryside following the lifting of a vast lockdown.
Only the United States and Brazil have a higher number of cases. India’s total deaths stood at 25,602 the health ministry said.
04:19 GMT – Melbourne sees record rise in cases despite lockdown
Australia’s second-biggest city of Melbourne reported a record jump of more than 423 new infections on Friday despite a week-old lockdown of more than 5 million residents.
Brett Sutton, chief health officer for Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, said there were five more cases in rural parts of the state. The total was higher than any single daily increase in COVID-19 cases for the entire country since late March.
“We have not turned the corner here, worse than that,” he said.
Read more on this story here.
04:10 GMT – Georgia governor sues to end cities’ defiance on mask rules
Brian Kemp, governor of the US state of Georgia, is suing Atlanta to block the city from enforcing rules requiring face masks in public and other rules related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This lawsuit is on behalf of the Atlanta business owners and their hardworking employees who are struggling to survive during these difficult times,” Kemp said in a statement. “I refuse to sit back and watch as disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens.”
Meltdowns over masks amid coronavirus outbreak go viral (1:27)
03:54 GMT – US counts 342 child inflammatory syndrome 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.
Dr Ermias Belay told physicians that among US cases reported as of July 15, the average age was 8 and most were in children aged 1 to 14.
That figures show that 40 percent of cases were in Latino kids and 35 percent were in Black children. One in four affected children were put on ventilators, but deaths have been rare.
03:18 GMT – CDC extends US ban on cruise ships
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended a ban on cruise ships through the end September as coronavirus infections rose across the country, including in the state of Florida.
The no-sail order had been scheduled to expire on July 24.
02:55 GMT – US notches yet another record for new cases
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 single-day rise in coronavirus cases.
In that period, the death toll also climbed by 974 people, taking the total number of deaths in the country since the pandemic began to 138,201, and the total number of cases to 3,560,364.
Meanwhile, a Reuters tally showed 70,000 new cases in the past 24 hours, while the New York Times said its tally showed more than 75,000 infections in the same period.
US airline industry nosedives amid COVID-19 crisis (2:20)
02:41 GMT – Canada to spend C$19bn on ‘safe restart’ after lockdown
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.
The cash is meant to cover extraordinary costs over the coming six to eight months, Trudeau said in a news conference, and will take care of “the kinds of things that actually really matter to Canadians,” including preparing for a possible “second wave” of contagion.
Measures under the “safe restart agreement” include contact tracing, providing protective equipment to workers, helping struggling municipalities pay operating costs, aiding local transit operators, “safe spaces” for daycare, and improving long-term care for the elderly.
02:25 GMT – New York City not ready to open malls, museums yet
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.
Cuomo said New York City is on track to move to the fourth phase of his gradual reopening plan, but said his administration will review the latest infection data and decide by 4pm local time on Friday. The rest of the state is in Phase 4, which typically permits opening malls and certain arts and entertainment centers and restarting professional sports games without fans.
But Cuomo said no “additional indoor activity” will open in New York in the fourth phase because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus indoors. Cuomo has not allowed New York City to open up indoor dining, unlike the rest of the state.
“You see the inside, interior spaces, air-conditioned spaces, where the virus is tending to spread,” Cuomo said in a Thursday conference call with reporters. “So we’re going to take that precaution in New York City.”
01:47 GMT – Algeria plans law to protect medics as attacks rise
Algeria is planning a law to protect health workers after an increase in “physical and verbal attacks” since the country’s coronavirus outbreak began, Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s office has announced.
The incidents have also in some cases involved “acts of damage and destruction of public assets and medical equipment,” Tebboune’s office said in a statement.
01:08 GMT – UK boosts healthcare funding to ward off winter COVID-19 wave
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to pour three billion pounds ($3.77bn) into England’s National Health Service (NHS) to try to ward off any resurgence of the coronavirus.
“The Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency, and we must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter,” a spokesman said before a news conference by Johnson on Friday afternoon.
The UK is the worst-affected country in Europe by COVID-19 with a death toll from confirmed cases of more than 45,000.
00:30 GMT – Brazil cases reach 2 million, doubling in less than a month
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.
In recent weeks, there have been nearly 40,000 confirmed new cases a day, according to government figures, and it took just 27 days for Brazil’s total caseload to rise from one million to two million cases.
On Thursday, confirmed cases in Brazil totalled 2,012,151, while deaths numbered 76,688.
Experts blame denial of the virus’s deadly potential by Bolsonaro and lack of national coordination combined with scattershot responses by city and state governments, with some reopening earlier than health experts recommended.
00:17 GMT – ‘Step up now or pay price later’: G20 urged to support poor countries
Coronavirus support to poor countries has been so far “grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted,” UN aid chief Mark Lowcock said, as he asked wealthy countries for billions more dollars in assistance.
The United Nations increased its humanitarian appeal by more than a third to $10.3bn to help 63 states, mainly in Africa and Latin America, tackle the spread and destabilising effects of the coronavirus. This is up from the world body’s initial two-billion-dollar request in March, then $6.7bn in May.
So far, Lowcock said, the UN has only received $1.7bn.
As finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies prepare to meet virtually on Saturday, Lowcock told reporters: “The message to the G20 is step up now or pay the price later.”
“The response so far of wealthy nations, who’ve rightly thrown out the fiscal and monetary rule books to protect their own people and economies, the response that they’ve made to the situations in other countries has been grossly inadequate and that’s dangerously shortsighted.”
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives.
You can find all the key developments from yesterday, July 16, here.