The coronavirus pandemic has now infected over 19.8 million people and has killed more than 730,000. Here are the latest updates for August 9:

NHS (National Health Service) workers hold a minute's silence to pay tribute to NHS staff who have died with coronavirus during a march through the streets of London on August 8, 2020, to demand a pay rise.
NHS (National Health Service) workers hold a minute's silence to pay tribute to NHS staff who have died with coronavirus during a march through the streets of London on August 8, 2020, to demand a pay rise. (AFP)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

UK records more than 1,000 new infections

Britain has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections in a day for the first time since late June.

Government statistics say 1,062 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in the 24 hours until 9 a,m. on Sunday. The last time the number was over 1,000 was on June 26.

The number of patients hospitalized with the virus continues to decline, as does the daily number of deaths.

Eight new COVID-19 fatalities were reported Sunday.

Britain’s official coronavirus death toll stands at 46,574, the highest in Europe.

Georgia school with large crowds reports positive cases

A total of nine students and staff members at a Georgia high school have tested positive for the coronavirus, the principal said in a letter to parents after the school made headlines for online photos showing hallways packed with teens — many of them not wearing masks.

Principal Gabe Carmona wrote on Saturday that six students and three staff members at North Paudling High School west of Atlanta tested positive for Covid-19. 

The infected students and staff members were inside the school building "sometime" last week, Carmona's letter said.

Meanwhile, school officials in a nearby metro Atlanta county reported 12 students and two staff members across a dozen schools tested positive for the virus during their first week back at school. 

The Cherokee County school system reported that more than 250 students with potential exposure had been sent home to quarantine for two weeks.

Paulding County’s 30,000 students were offered a remote learning option. About 30 percent of students chose online learning. Cherokee County school officials said 22 percent of the districts 42,200 students opted to start the year with online classes.

Italy daily case tally leaps higher

Italy’s tally of daily new Covid-19 cases has leaped higher, with 463 cases, according to Health Ministry figures.

Many of the latest cases have been found in young people returning from vacations abroad.

Italy’s day-to-day new caseload had previously soared far above 500 confirmed infections, but the number had dropped to 347 on Saturday, more in line with numbers of the past few weeks.

While in the first weeks of the outbreak in Italy, only one of every 83 infections occurred in persons 18 years old or younger, now one of every eight confirmed cases occurs in that age bracket. 

With two deaths registered on Sunday, Italy’s known death toll stood at 35,205. Italy’s overall count of known infections in the pandemic stands at 250,566.

Turkey records 1,103 more recoveries

Turkey has confirmed 1,103 additional recoveries from the novel coronavirus, raising the tally to 223,759, according to health minister Fahrettin Koca.

The country registered 1,182 new infections of Covid-19, bringing the caseload to 240,804, he added.

The death toll stood at 5,844 after 15 more people died of the virus over the last 24 hours.

Healthcare professionals conducted 61,446 tests for the disease in the same period, pushing the tally to over 5.26 million.

Tough anti-virus measures ‘not possible’ – Rouhani

Iran's president has said that the application of tough measures in the country to stem the spread of the virus was “not possible." 

Speaking during a meeting of Iran’s anti-coronavirus task force in Tehran, Hassan Rouhani opted for a “moderate path” between a total lockdown and ending restrictions fully. 

He said the application of tough measures against the pandemic in Iran “leads to depression and anxiety in the society."

The Iranian leader warned that the situation can turn “dangerous” if health protocols are not observed, adding that punitive measures would be taken against defaulters.

Another 163 dead in Iran

As many as 163 new virus-related fatalities have raised the death toll in Iran to 18,427.

A total of 2,020 people tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours, pushing the tally to 326,712, according to health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

She said more than 284,300 patients have recovered so far, while 4,022 are hospitalised in critical condition.

Over 2.6 million tests have been conducted in Iran to date.

Vietnam reports 31 new cases, one death

Vietnam's health ministry has reported 31 new Covid-19 cases and an additional death, taking the country's total tally to 841, with 11 fatalities.

All of the new cases are linked to the central city of Danang, where the new outbreak began late last month, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

There have been 355 cases since the virus resurfaced in Danang, with 11 deaths. Virus infections have since been detected in at least 15 locations in Vietnam.

Planned layoffs at British companies surge

The number of British companies planning to cut staff numbers in June was five times higher than in the same month a year earlier, in an ominous sign of the virus' economic impact.

Figures obtained by the BBC show that 1,778 companies informed the government of plans to cut a total of 139,000 jobs. A year earlier the figure was 345 companies announcing a total of 24,000 job losses.

Businesses are required to inform the Insolvency Service if they plan to cut 20 or more jobs.

During the pandemic the government has been paying the salaries of almost 10 million furloughed workers. Economists are predicting a surge in unemployment when that program ends in October.

British PM says opening schools is a moral duty

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government has a moral duty to ensure children return to school next month.

Most pupils have been out of the classroom since the UK went into lockdown in March, though some primary-age children have returned.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson said “keeping our schools closed a moment longer than absolutely necessary is socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible.”

Britain’s official death toll from the coronavirus is more than 46,500, the highest in Europe.

Case emerges at second mine in Papua New Guinea

The virus has been detected at a second mine in Papua New Guinea, after an employee at the Lihir Mine owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd tested positive for the disease.

The 30-year-old male, who flew in from Port Moresby at the end of July, is among 26 confirmed cases reported on Sunday by the National Pandemic Control Centre in the capital Port Moresby.

The island nation has now reported a total of 214 cases and three deaths.

While the number of cases in PNG are still low compared with many other countries, they have jumped sharply over the past few weeks.

Indonesia virus cases rise by 1,893

Indonesia reported 1,893 more infections, taking the total tally to 125,396, the country's Covid-19 task force website showed.

The number of death rose 65, bringing the total number of deaths to 5,723.

Infections in Russia top 887,000

Russia reported 5,189 new cases bringing its nationwide tally to 887,536, the fourth largest caseload in the world.

Russia's coronavirus task force said 77 people had died over the last 24 hours, pushing its official death toll to 14,931.

Fire kills virus patients in southern India

A fire killed 11 virus patients at a south Indian hotel being used as a Covid-19 facility in the second such incident this month.

The blaze at Hotel Swarna Palace in the city of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh state broke out at 2330 GMT.

Rescue teams evacuated those trapped in the multistory building, said Senior police officer Srinivasulu, who uses only one name.

At least 22 people were brought to hospitals, he said.

The fire was brought under control but the smoke was still billowing out from the building, he said.

MLS to resume season on August 12 in home cities

America's Major League Soccer will resume its regular season with clubs playing in their home cities starting from August 12 following the end of the single-site tournament in Florida that was designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

The majority of matches will be played without fans in attendance and the regular season will lead into an expanded 18-team post-season, culminating with the MLS Cup on December 12.

Due to travel restrictions, the league said the initial phase of the 18-game schedule will feature US-based clubs while it works with the three Canadian teams regarding plans to resume.

New Zealand records 100 days without domestic case

New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the virus, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections.

New Zealand's successful fight against the pandemic has made the Pacific island nation of 5 million one of the safest places in the world right now.

New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules.

Germany's cases rise by 555

The number of confirmed cases in Germany increased by 555 to 215,891, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by one to 9,196, the tally showed. 

Indian doctors ask for support as 196 die so far

The Indian Medical Association says 196 doctors have died of the virus so far and, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested adequate care for physicians and their families.

The Health Ministry recorded nearly 64,000 new cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,153,010. 

At least 628,747 patients are still undergoing treatment.

India also recorded 861 fatalities, driving the death toll to 43,379.

India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June and has the third-highest caseload in the world after the US and Brazil.

Sources of many cases in Victoria untraceable

The premier of Australia’s Victoria state says more than 2,700 active cases have no known source and remain the primary concern of health authorities.

Victoria saw a welcome drop in its new Covid-19 cases with 394 but a record 17 deaths, including two people in their 50s in the last 24 hours. 

It took the hard-hit state’s toll to 210 and the Australian total of deaths to 295.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said confirmed cases also include almost 1,000 health care workers.

Decline in Hong Kong's cases continues

Hong Kong has seen a further decline in new cases, with just 69 reported as of Sunday. 

Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection said 67 were locally transmitted and the other two brought from overseas. 

No new deaths were reported, leaving the total for the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city at 47 among 3,938 cases.

Hong Kong has instituted strict measures to prevent new infections and the center urged members of the public to avoid going out, having social contact or dining out.

China reports 23 new cases

China has reported 23 new cases in the mainland, the country’s health authority said.

Among the new cases, 15 were locally transmitted and eight were imported infections, the National Health Commission said in a statement published on its website.

The total number of infections in mainland China now stands at 84,619, with the death toll unchanged at 4,634.

Brazil surpasses 10,000 coronavirus deaths

Brazil has surpassed 100,000 deaths and three million cases of infection.

With 100,477 fatalities and 3,012,412 confirmed cases, the South American country of 212 million people is the second hardest-hit country in the global pandemic, after the US.

The health ministry reported 905 new deaths in the past 24 hours, as well as 49,970 new cases.

Mexico's virus death toll exceeds 52,000

Mexico has reported 6,495 new virus cases and 695 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 475,902 cases and 52,006 deaths.

Officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Mexico has the third highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the US and Brazil.

South Africa virus deaths pass 10,000

More than 10,000 people have died from the virus in South Africa since the pandemic arrived in the country in March.

Africa's most industrialised economy has registered 553,188 infections, more than half of the continental caseload, and the fifth-biggest number of virus cases in the world.

The country's Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update statement that 301 new virus-related deaths had been recorded. More than half of the deaths registered were in in the KwaZulu-Natal province.

North Korea's Kim sends aid to city locked down over virus

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the distribution of aid to the border city of Kaesong after the area was locked down last month to fight the virus.

Authorities raised the state of emergency to the maximum level for the city in July, saying they had discovered the country's first suspected virus case.

A train carrying goods arrived in the "totally blocked" city of Kaesong on Friday, the official KCNA news agency reported.

Trump extends economic relief for Americans 

US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders deferring payroll taxes for some Americans and extending unemployment benefits after negotiations on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.

Trump accused Democrats of loading up their rescue bill with priorities unrelated to the coronavirus.

Trump said the payroll tax cut would apply to those earning less than $100,000 a year.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies