The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 24.2 million people and killed over 824,000. Here are updates for August 26:

Scientists say Citriodiol, the active ingredient in repellents such as Mosi-guard, had anti-viral properties if mixed with the virus in the liquid phase and on a test surface.
Scientists say Citriodiol, the active ingredient in repellents such as Mosi-guard, had anti-viral properties if mixed with the virus in the liquid phase and on a test surface. (Reuters Archive)

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Insect spray chemical can kill coronavirus – UK study

A chemical used in insect repellent can kill the strain of coronavirus that causes Covid-19, according to a preliminary study by Britain's defence laboratory published on Wednesday.

Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) found that Citriodiol, the active ingredient in repellents such as Mosi-guard, had anti-viral properties if mixed with the virus in the liquid phase and on a test surface.

"Mixing a virus suspension with Mosi-guard spray or selected constituent components resulted in a reduction in SARS-CoV-2," said the study.

At a high concentration, "Mosi-guard gave a significant decrease... resulting in no recoverable virus," it added.

Pfizer says vaccine trial more than 50 percent enrolled

Enrollment in the 30,000-volunteer US trial testing a Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech is more than 50 percent complete, Dr. Nicholas Kitchin, a top Pfizer vaccine research and development scientist, said at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting on Wednesday.

Last week, the company said it had enrolled more than 11,000 volunteers in the trial. 

Turkey confirms 1,313 new cases

Turkey has confirmed 1,313 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally to 262,507.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Twitter that the total number of recoveries had reached 239,797.

Koca said that 1,002 patients recovered from Covid-19 over the past day. Meanwhile, the death toll in the country reached 6,183, as 20 more people lost their lives.

Healthcare professionals ran 100,109 more tests to diagnose the disease over the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 6.62 million.

Spain's daily cases above 3,500; total at 419,849

Spain diagnosed 3,594 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, health ministry data showed on Wednesday, after an updated tally of around 4,000 cases the previous day, which marked this week's highest level but off last week's peaks.

Cumulative cases, including the results from antibody tests on patients who may have already recovered, reached 419,849, the highest level in western Europe. Seven more deaths were recorded, bringing the overall toll to 28,971.

All three million in Myanmar's Rakhine in virus lockdown

A lockdown in Myanmar's conflict-stricken Rakhine has been expanded to the entire state, halting the movement of more than three million people as the number of coronavirus cases steadily climbs.

More than 100 new infections were confirmed across Myanmar in 36 hours –– the largest jump so far –– bringing the total to 580, with most new cases in the northwestern state.

Rakhine is one of the poorest states in the country, with substandard healthcare facilities and a lack of access to education in some remote parts.

It is also home to about 130,000 Rohingya Muslims displaced by conflict and confined to camps under what Amnesty International describes as "apartheid" conditions.

WEF postpones 2021 Davos summit due to pandemic

The World Economic Forum said Wednesday it would postpone its 2021 Davos summit for several months to reduce any risks to participants from the coronavirus pandemic.

Next year's gathering of the world's political, economic, and business elite may not even take place against its traditional idyllic snowy backdrop of the Swiss Alpine village of Davos, the organisation hinted.

Rather than January as usual, the event will take place "early next summer," WEF spokesman Adrian Monck said in a statement.

Thirty babies born to surrogates stranded in Russia

Thirty babies born to surrogate mothers are stranded in Saint Petersburg, an official said on Wednesday, with foreign parents unable to travel to Russia's second city due to coronavirus restrictions.

The children's rights ombudswoman in the city Anna Mitianina said on her website that the authorities had received calls from several medical facilities caring for children born to surrogate mothers. 

Most foreign parents are from China and are "not able to pick up their children because of the pandemic", she said.

Ukraine temporarily bars most foreigners after Israel pilgrimage plea

Ukraine has imposed a temporary ban on most foreigners from entering the country until September 28 and extended lockdown measures until the end of October to contain a recent spike in coronavirus cases.

Speaking at a televised cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal also said the government would need to take a decision on Thursday on whether to ban major public events in September.

"The rise in coronavirus infections we have seen in recent weeks is forcing us to act more decisively," Shmygal said.

The daily tally of new infections jumped to around 2,000 last week with a record high of 2,328 on Saturday. 

The total number of infections reached 110,085 on Wednesday, with 2,354 deaths.

Myanmar shuts all schools

Myanmar ordered all schools to close after reporting 70 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, its biggest daily rise, as authorities try to tackle a resurgence of the virus following weeks without confirmed domestic transmission.

All but one of the new cases announced on Wednesday were in the western state of Rakhine, found in nine different locations, each linked to an outbreak in the state capital Sittwe, where a lockdown and curfew were imposed last week.

Germany extends travel warning for outside Europe

Germany's foreign ministry is extending its travel warning for countries outside Europe until September 14 due to continued concern about the coronavirus, a government source said.

The warning had been due to expire at the end of August. 

Indonesia reports 2,306 new infections, 86 deaths

Indonesia reported 2,306 new virus infections, taking its total number of cases to 160,165, data published on the country's health ministry website showed.

The data also showed 86 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus, taking the total to 6,944.

Philippines confirms 5,277 new cases, 99 deaths

The Philippines' health ministry reported 5,277 additional infections, the highest daily increase in 12 days, and 99 more deaths.

The ministry said total confirmed cases had risen to 202,361, more than 60 percent of which were reported in the past month, while deaths had increased to 3,137. The Philippines has the largest number of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia.

Russia's infection tally passes 970,000

Russia reported 4,676 new cases, pushing its confirmed national tally up to 970,865.

Authorities said 115 people had died of Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, raising the official death toll to 16,683. 

India reports another 67,000 cases

India has reported more than 67,000 new virus cases in the past 24 hours, raising the country’s number of reported infections to 3.2 million with 1.5 million reported infections coming this month alone.

The Health Ministry also reported 1,059 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking total fatalities from the pandemic to 59,449.

India has been recording more than 60,000 new infections per day for the last two weeks, reaching a peak of 69,652 cases on August 19. New reported infections dropped to around 61,000 on Monday and Tuesday but picked up again in the past 24 hours.

The ministry said India’s recovery rate was now around 76 percent with a fatality rate of 1.84 percent.

Even though the country of nearly 1.4 billion people has been slowly opening up to heal the economy, areas identified as most affected by the virus continue to remain under lockdown.

Germany's confirmed cases rise by 1,576 to 236,429

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 1,576 to 236,429, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by three to 9,280, the tally showed. 

First lady expresses sympathy for virus victims

Melania Trump has expressed sympathy for families affected by Covid-19, an “invisible enemy” she said has challenged America but brought its citizens together.

The first lady said she has “been moved in the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and frightening situation.“

She says her husband “will not rest until he has done all he can” to stem the “invisible enemy” of the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump also talked about “the beautiful side of humanity” she has observed in the wake of natural disasters around the country, noting that a common thread “is the unwavering resolve to help one another.”

Australia's Victoria state sees 2nd deadliest day

Australia's Victoria state recorded its second-most deadly day of the coronavirus pandemic with 24 deaths, although fewer new infections were detected at the halfway mark of a strict six-week lockdown.

The southeastern state detected 149 new cases compared with 148 reported on Tuesday, well down on the peak of more than 700 daily cases on August 5. The record daily death toll was 25 reported last week.

Victoria's government wants to extend a state of emergency by another year to combat the spread of the virus, allowing it to prolong or reimpose lockdowns over that period.

China reports 15 new imported cases

China has reported 15 new Covid-19 cases in the mainland, compared with 14 cases reported a day earlier, according to the country's health authority.

All of the new cases reported were imported infections, the National Health Commission said in a statement, marking the 10th consecutive day of no locally-transmitted cases.

The total number of confirmed cases now stands at 84,996, while the death toll has remained unchanged at 4,634.

The commission also reported 14 new asymptomatic cases, down from 16 reported a day earlier.

China does not classify these symptomless infections as confirmed cases.

Mexico registers nearly 5,000 new cases

Mexico's health ministry on Tuesday reported 4,916 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 650 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 568,621 cases and 61,450 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Brazil records more than 1,000 new deaths

Brazil registered an additional 1,271 Covid-19 deaths and 47,134 new cases over the last 24 hours, the nation's health ministry said on Tuesday.

The country has now registered 116,580 total deaths and 3,669,995 total confirmed cases.

Qatar has highest per-capita cases, lowest deaths

Qatar has the world's highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate but one of the lowest death rates, due to extensive testing, a young population and lavish healthcare spending.

With 40,702 cases per million since the pandemic began, Qatar is well ahead of next-placed Bahrain, which has seen nearly 29,000 cases per million, and San Marino at just over 21,000.

South Africa sees 149 more deaths

South Africa has recorded 149 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the country’s death toll to 13,308, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said late Tuesday.

Mkhize said 1,567 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in the past 24 hours, putting the total number of confirmed cases at 613,017.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies