The coronavirus, which caused a global pandemic, has now infected over 17.9 million people and has killed more than 685,000. Here are the latest updates for August 1:

People gather for a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin, Germany, August 1, 2020.
People gather for a demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Berlin, Germany, August 1, 2020. (AP)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Thousands protest in Berlin against virus restrictions

Thousands protested Germany's coronavirus restrictions in a Berlin demonstration marking what organisers called “the end of the pandemic” — a declaration that comes just as authorities are voicing increasing concerns about an uptick in new infections.

With few masks in sight, a dense crowd marched through downtown Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate. Police estimated about 17,000 people turned out. 

Protesters who came from across the country held up homemade signs and chanted, “We’re here and we’re loud, because we are being robbed of our freedom!”

US lawmakers report progress in Covid-19 aid talks

Lawmakers participating in rare weekend talks on a huge coronavirus relief measure reported progress, as political pressure mounts to restore a newly expired $600-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit and send funding to help schools reopen.

“This was the longest meeting we had and it was more productive than the other meetings,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “We're not close yet, but it was a productive discussion — now each side knows where they’re at," he added. 

At stake beyond the $600 per week jobless benefit is a fresh $1,200 direct payment to most Americans, and hundreds of billions of dollars in other aid to states, businesses and the poor, among other elements..

The Covid package will be the fifth legislative response to the pandemic and could well be the last one before the November election.

Hurricane Isaias lashes Bahamas, virus-hit Florida braces

Hurricane Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas and headed toward the Florida coast, where officials said they were closing beaches, parks and coronavirus testing sites.

The hurricane is bearing down on places where the virus is surging, threatening to complicate efforts to contain it and piling another burden on communities already hard-hit by other storms and sickness.

Mexico has the world's third most deaths 

Mexico now has the third most Covid-19 deaths in the world, behind Brazil and the United States.

Mexican health officials reported 688 new deaths, pushing the country’s confirmed total to over 46,600. That put Mexico just ahead of the United Kingdom, which has more than 46,100, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University on Friday.

Kenya Airways resumes international flights 

Kenya Airways resumed international flights, heading to about 30 destinations for the first time since the routes were suspended in March due to the coronavirus.

The carrier, in which Air France KLM holds a small stake, resumed domestic flights in mid-July after the government cleared local air travel.

Allan Kilavuka, the airline's chief executive officer said the airline expected demand to remain below 50% of capacity for the rest of the year, but it would increase flight frequencies depending on demand.

In July, Kenya Airways said it would lay off an unspecified number of number of workers, reduce its network and offload some assets due to the coronavirus crisis.

Kilavuka said so far the company had laid off some 650 people, mostly trainee pilots, trainee cabin crew, technician trainees and newly hired staff on probation.

Greece registers 110 new cases
Greece on Saturday reported 110 new coronavirus cases, health authorities said on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to 4,587.

According to the National Health Organisation, at least nine of the new cases were related to international travel, while 23 were recorded at a factory in northern Kavala city.

The death toll in the country stands at 206.

Iranian film director Khosrow Sinai dies of Covid-19 

Prominent Iranian film director Khosrow Sinai has died of the novel coronavirus at the age of 79, local media reported.

Sinai, who is well-known for his film Bride of Fire, died at Tehran’s Amir Alam Hospital on Saturday, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Known for Long Live, In the Alleys of Love, The Desert of Blood, he was the first Iranian film direct or to win an international prize after the 1979 revolution in the country.

Coronavirus recoveries surpass 215,500 in Turkey

Turkey confirmed 981 more recoveries from the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally to 215,516, according to the country's health minister.

Citing Health Ministry data, Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that a total of 996 people contracted Covid-19 over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 231,869.

Koca said there were no new critically ill patients in 36 provinces over the past three days, adding that number of cases are increasing in the capital Ankara, Mardin, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep and Konya provinces.

The country's death toll from the disease rose to 5,710, with 19 new fatalities over the past 24 hours.

Virus cases, deaths at 2-month low in Bangladesh

Bangladesh reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths in the past two months.

A Health Ministry official said 21 fatalities were recorded over the past 24 hours. The Covid-19 death toll now stands at 3,132, of which 2,462 were men and 670 women, the official said.

The country’s overall case count increased by 2,199 to reach 239,860, while 1,117 recoveries raised the total to 136,253 – a recovery rate of 56.81%.

Iran's death toll nears 17,000

At least 216 more coronavirus fatalities have raised the nationwide death toll in Iran to 16,982, the Health Ministry said.

A further 2,548 people tested positive for over the past 24 hours, raising the overall case count to 306,752, according to Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

She said more than 265,830 patients have recovered so far, while 4,011 remain hospitalised in critical condition.

Kuwait bans flights to several 'high risk' countries

Kuwait has banned commercial flights to several countries it said it regards as high risk due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Philippines, Lebanon and Sri Lanka - all countries with large populations in Kuwait. The list also includes China, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Iraq.

India records highest daily jump of 57,000 cases

India recorded the steepest spike of 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its coronavirus caseload close to 1.7 million, with July alone accounting for nearly 1.1 million infections.

The Health Ministry also reported 764 additional deaths for a total of 36,511.

India’s Civil Aviation Ministry delayed resumption of international flights by another month until August 31. But it will continue to allow several international carriers from the United States, Europe and the Middle East to operate special flights to evacuate stranded nationals.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India achieved more than 1 million recoveries with active cases only one-third of the total.

Turkey-Russia flights resume

Commercial flights from Russia to Turkey have resumed after being halted in March due to the pandemic.

Passengers arriving in Turkey were advised to wear masks and their body temperature was checked by thermal cameras.

Egypt reports lowest daily figure since May 3

Egypt reported 321 new Covid-19 infections, the Health Ministry said, the lowest figure since May 3.

In total, 94,078 cases have been reported in Egypt, of which 39,638 have recovered and 4,188 have died, including 31 on Friday, the ministry said in a statement late.

Egypt reopened resorts to foreign tourists on July 1 after tourism came to a halt in March under measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

But Egypt has not yet made it to a "safe list" of countries for the resumption of non-essential travel to the European Union.

Russia plans mass vaccination from October

Russia is preparing to start a mass vaccination campaign against the virus in October, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said, RIA news agency reported.

The minister, who did not give details about the vaccine to be used, said doctors and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated.

Russia reported 95 new deaths, pushing its national tally to 14,058.

Officials also reported 5,462 new cases of the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, pushing the country's tally to 845,443.

Tokyo reports record 472 new cases

The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in Tokyo was around 472, a new record, NHK public television quoted Tokyo officials as saying.

It was the second day in a row that the number of cases in the capital rose by more than 400.

Though Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has said the city could declare its own state of emergency, the central government says there is still no need to do so nationally despite a record spike in several cities around the nation. 

Indonesia reports 1,560 new cases, 62 deaths

Indonesia reported 1,560 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian country to 109,936, data from the country's Covid-19 task force showed.

It also reported 62 Covid-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to 5,193.

Philippines confirms largest increase

The Philippines reported 4,963 additional coronavirus infections, the largest single-day jump on record.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said total infections have reached 98,232, while deaths increased by 17 to 2,039. In the region, the Philippines is second only to Indonesia in coronavirus deaths and cases.

Poland reports record rise for third day

Poland reported its highest number of new daily coronavirus cases since the global pandemic started for the third day in a row, with 658 new infections, the Health Ministry said.

More than 200 cases were reported in the Silesia mining region in southern Poland, which has been grappling with an outbreak amongst miners.

The ministry also reported five new deaths.

Poland has now reported a total of 46,346 coronavirus cases and 1,721 deaths.

Hong Kong opens makeshift hospital

Hong Kong opened a temporary field hospital with 500 beds to house stable Covid-19 patients as the city battles a new wave of virus infections.

The financial hub had been a poster child for tackling the coronavirus, with local transmissions all but ended by early summer.

But since July the pathogen has returned, with some cases brought in by the tens of thousands of people who were exempted from a mandatory quarantine imposed on most arrivals.

The city recorded 125 new cases, the 11th day in a row above 100, with total infection numbers rising to 3,396. The death toll has risen from seven to 31 since July.

Australia's Victoria logs 397 cases, 3 deaths

Australia's second most populous state, Victoria, reported 397 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours and three deaths, compared with 627 cases and eight deaths a day earlier.

The deaths take the state's fatalities to 116 and Australia's tally to 201.

Vietnam reports 12 new cases 

Vietnam reported 12  cases linked to the recent outbreak in the central city of Danang, taking total infections to 116 since the virus resurfaced last week.

The new patients, with ages ranging from two to 78, are linked to Danang hospital, the ministry said in a statement.

Vietnam has registered a total of 558 cases and recorded its first two deaths on Friday after months of successful curbs.

US records over 25,000 deaths in July

US deaths rose by over 25,000 in July and virus cases doubled in 19 states during the month, according to a Reuters tally, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy.

The United States recorded 1.87 million new cases in July, bringing total infections to 4.5 million, for an increase of 69 percent. Deaths in July rose 20 percent to nearly 154,000 total.

The biggest increases in July were in Florida, with over 310,000 new cases, followed by California and Texas with about 260,000 each.

Mexico's death toll becomes third highest worldwide

Mexico's virus deaths rose to 46,688, health ministry data showed, placing the country's death toll from the pandemic at third highest in the world, overtaking Britain, according to a Reuters tally.

The health ministry registered 8,458 new cases, a record for a single day, as well as 688 additional deaths, bringing the total to 424,637 cases and 46,688 fatalities.

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

China reports 45 new cases

China reported 45 virus cases in the mainland for July 31, down sharply from 127 cases a day earlier, the health commission said.

Of the new infections, 31 were in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to a statement by the National Health Commission. Eight were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, and the remaining six were imported cases.

China reported 23 new asymptomatic cases, up from 11 a day earlier.

As of the end of Friday, mainland China had 84,337 cases, the health authority said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies