Iraqi MP dies of coronavirus as cases jump 600 percent: Live

  • Iraqi lawmaker Ghida Kambash has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, parliament announced, its first member to succumb to the virus as its spread ramps up across the country.

  • Italy has banned entry to people coming from 13 countries that it said presented an excessive rate of COVID-19 infections.

  • The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in northwest Syria, aid workers have said.

  • More than 12.2 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, and more than 553,000 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.7 million patients have recovered.

Here are the latest updates.

Friday, July 10

16:20 GMT – Lebanon records highest single day increase in coronavirus cases

Lebanon has recorded its highest single day increase in new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, with 71 cases in 24 hours.

It had confirmed a previous record 66 new infections the day before, some four-and-a-half months after the first case was reported in February.

Firas Abiad, the head of the country’s leading COVID-19 hospital, has warned of a “worrisome” trend that could overwhelm the country’s fragile health sector, which is suffering from funding shortages due to the country’s unprecedented economic crisis.

Lebanon resume international flights

Two-way scheduled flights resumed at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri Airport on July 1 [Anadolu]

15:56 GMT – Johnson says England may need stricter face mask rules

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said stricter rules on wearing face coverings may be needed and that he would like to see them worn more frequently in shops in England, where – unlike in Scotland – they are optional.

“I do think we need to be stricter in insisting that people wear face coverings in confined places where they are meeting people that they don’t normally meet,” Johnson said in a pre-recorded question-and-answer session with the public.

“So that’s why it’s mandatory already on public transport, and we’re looking at ways of making sure that people really do observe when you do have face coverings in shops for instance where … there is a risk of transmission,” he added.

Boris Johnson

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he delivers a speech [Paul Ellis/Reuters]

15:33 GMT – Iraqi MP dies of COVID-19 as cases jump 600 percent

Iraqi lawmaker Ghida Kambash has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, parliament announced, its first member to succumb to the virus as its spread ramps up across the country.

The 46-year-old was a three-time MP from Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, and helped pass laws on education reform and social welfare.

After seeing a relatively slow spread in the first five months of 2020, cases spiked 600 percent in June alone, according to the International Rescue Committee.

Hospital built by benefactors in fighting Covid-19 in Sulaymaniyah

Health workers at a hospital in Kelar district of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq [Anadolu]

15:01 GMT – Russian Deputy PM proposes resuming international flights from June 15

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova proposed that Russia resume international flights to and from the country from July 15, two weeks earlier than the scheduled date of August 1 for resuming international air travel.

Golikova said foreigners travelling to Russia would have to have proof of a negative test for COVID-19, taken in the last three days before their arrival, in order to enter the country.

14:35 GMT – Russia registers 18,375 more deaths in May 2020 than previous year

Russia registered 172,914 deaths in May, up by 18,375 or 11.9 percent from the same month the previous year, data from the state statistics service Rosstat showed.

This included 12,452 deaths of people suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, Rosstat data showed. Of these, COVID-19 was registered as the primary cause of death in 7,444 cases.

An Orthodox Christian attends a service in a church in Moscow

An Orthodox Christian reflected in an icon during a service inside a church in Moscow, Russia [File: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]

14:05 GMT – UK deaths from confirmed COVID-19 cases rise by 48 to 44,650

The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 44,650, up 48 on the previous day, the government said.

13:50 GMT – China suspends imports of Ecuador shrimps on coronavirus risk

China’s customs authority said it was suspending imports from three shrimp producers in Ecuador after detecting the new coronavirus in recent shipments.

It said samples taken from shipments from Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila SA, Empacreci SA and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima Edpacif had produced six positive results. However, tests on the frozen shrimp and inner packaging were negative.

Frozen seafood products made of imported shrimps are seen inside a sealed freezer at a supermarket in Beijing

Frozen seafood products made of imported shrimps inside a sealed freezer at a supermarket following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Beijing [File: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters]

13:30 GMT – Finland objects to EU council’s recovery plan

Finland expressed reservations to a revised budget proposal by European Council President Charles Michel, and the massive COVID-19 recovery fund plan being debated at a special meeting next week.

Michel presented an update to a proposal for a 750-billion-euro pandemic recovery fund on Friday in the hope of winning over more frugal member states.

However, Michel did not cede ground on the main point of contention: whether aid from the recovery fund should take the form of grants or loans.

Hello, this is Arwa Ibrahim in Doha, taking over from my colleague Farah Najar.

11:56 GMT – Britain to set out its position on EU vaccine scheme later on Friday

Britain will set out its position on the European Union coronavirus vaccine scheme later on Friday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, adding any decision would be based on what is deemed to be in the country’s interests.

11:32 GMT – EU says UK’s refusal to join vaccine scheme not to affect talks with drugmakers

The European Commission said that a possible decision by the United Kingdom not to join an EU scheme to buy potential COVID-19 vaccines up front will not affect ongoing talks the bloc is carrying out with several drugmakers.

On Thursday, British newspaper The Telegraph reported that the UK government had decided not to join the EU scheme because of concerns there could be costly delays in securing the shots .

“The fact that the UK has apparently said they would not join up to whatever contract we are able to negotiate with producers is definitely not something that is going to influence our own negotiations with the producers,” the EU executive’s leading spokesman told a news conference.

10:20 GMT – Norway lifts many European travel curbs, including parts of Sweden

Norway will lift travel restrictions to and from more than 20 European countries from July 15, including France, Germany and Britain as well as some provinces of neighbouring Sweden, the government said.

Norway, which is not a member of the European Union but belongs to the passport-free Schengen travel zone, currently has some of Europe’s strictest limitations on travel due to the pandemic. 

09:48 GMT – WHO advance team on way to China to set up probe into virus origin

An advance team from the World Health Organization (WHO) has left for China to organise an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman said.

The two WHO experts, specialists in animal science and epidemiology, will work with Chinese scientists to determine the scope and itinerary of the investigation, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a UN briefing.

“They are gone, they are in the air now, they are the advance party to work out the scope,” she said.

The WHO will have no role in an independent panel, announced on Thursday, to review the global handling of pandemic, Harris said, adding: “From now on it is completely hands off”. 

09:25 GMT – Britain’s coronavirus quarantine rules end for many destinations

Quarantine measures for those travelling to Britain from around 70 countries and overseas territories, including France and Italy, no longer apply from Friday in a boost to the ailing aviation and travel industries hit by COVID-19.

Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days but many popular destinations are now exempt, meaning millions of Britons are able to take summer holidays without having to stay at home when they return.

The boss of Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, welcomed the move but said more was needed to facilitate travel from other low-risk countries and areas.

“There are some important long-haul markets that aren’t included, places like Canada and Singapore, which are low-risk, and we’d like to see those being included in the next review,” John Holland-Kaye told Sky News.

“We also need to think about how are we going to connect some of our really important trading partners such as the United States, which are high risk as a nation but some parts of the country are low risk.”

09:12 GMT – New Hong Kong cases stay high for third day

Hong Kong reported 38 new cases, edging down from Thursday’s 42 but broadly in line with a sharp increase that the city has registered over the past three days.

Amid concerns of a renewed community spread it had reported mostly imported cases for months, authorities said 32 of the new cases were locally transmitted, little changed from Thursday’s 34.

The total number of cases in the global financial hub since late January stands at 1,404, of whom seven have died.

08:56 GMT – Premier of South Africa’s Gauteng province tests positive

The Premier of South Africa’s financial-hub and most populous province Gauteng, David Makhura, said he has tested positive for COVID-19, as infections in the country continue to soar.

South Africa’s confirmed cases increased by their most in a single day on Thursday, rising by more than 13,000 to 238,339 cases. Gauteng, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, is now the epicentre of the virus with nearly 82,000 cases.

A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country's first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, in Soweto

A volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa [File: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters]

08:49 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,611 new infections

Indonesia reported 1,611 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total count to 72,347, its health ministry said.

Deaths related to COVID-19 rose by 52, taking fatalities to 3,469, ministry official Achmad Yurianto told a televised news briefing. There are 33,529 people who have recovered. 

08:32 GMT – India sees more local coronavirus lockdowns as cases near 800,000

India reported a record 26,506 new coronavirus cases as authorities re-imposed lockdowns in its most populous state and in an industrial hub, home to automakers, drug factories and brewers.

The new cases pushed India’s tally to nearly 800,000 cases, the world’s third-biggest outbreak, behind only the United States and Brazil in confirmed infections.

There have been more than 21,000 deaths in India since the first case was detected there in January, federal health ministry data showed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the epidemic and put millions of people back to work, in early June eased an initial lockdown of the 1.3 billion population imposed in March.

But rising new flare-ups of the virus has been forcing some major industrial towns and states to impose localised restrictions.

08:04 GMT – Russia’s coronavirus death toll passes 11,000

Russia’s death toll from the coronavirus edged past 11,000, as the country reported 174 new deaths in the past 24 hours.

The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre reported 6,635 new cases, bringing its nationwide tally of infections to 713,936, the world’s fourth highest caseload.

The death toll now stands at 11,017. Russia says 489,068 people have recovered.

07:14 GMT – Kazakh president threatens to sack cabinet if COVID-19 efforts fail

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that if the coronavirus situation in the Central Asian country does not improve by the end of its second lockdown, it would raise questions about the cabinet’s ability to work in its current composition.

Tokayev said the government would allocate an additional 150bn tenge ($363m) towards combating the outbreak and urged the central bank to lower its inflation target to 8.0-8.5 percent from 9.0-11.0 percent this year. 

07:03 GMT – Vietnam says 31 million workers impacted by pandemic, risk of rising unemployment

The economic fallout from the pandemic has negatively impacted about 31 million workers in Vietnam, with 900,000 out of work and nearly 18 million people receiving less income than before, a government agency said.

If solutions to drive business activity were not immediately implemented, there could be 5 million more people out of work by the end the year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.

The country’s economy has suffered, with second quarter growth at its slowest pace in at least 30 years due to the impact of the pandemic, putting the government’s 2020 economic targets well out of reach.

“Workers are being negatively impacted by being laid off or having had their working hours reduced. The number of affected workers will continue to climb in the upcoming quarters,” the GSO said in a statement.

“Urban unemployment rate in the second quarter hit the highest in 10 years, at 4.46 percent mostly because of the social distancing measure in April.” 

06:46 GMT – Bulgarian Football Union could delay next season’s start

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) may delay the start of the next domestic season, scheduled for July 24, after coronavirus infections at several clubs surged, its medical commission said.

More than half of top-flight clubs as well as second-tier teams have been hit by the virus, with Cherno More Varna reporting 16 cases and Cup winners Lokomotiv Plovdiv nine.

“The medical commission made a proposal for the championship to start one or two weeks later than planned,” commission secretary Mihail Iliev told Reuters news agency. “We believe it’s a reasonable step in view of the complicated epidemiological situation.”

Iliev, a former Bulgarian national team doctor, said the BFU’s executive committee would take the final decision in coming days.

06:34 GMT – Hong Kong to suspend all schools due to spike in cases

Hong Kong’s Education Bureau announced the suspension of all schools from Monday after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases that has fuelled fears of a renewed community spread in the city.

Schools in the Asian financial hub have been mostly shut since February with many having switched to online learning and lessons by conference call. Many international schools are already on summer break.

The city reported 42 new cases on Thursday, of which 34 were locally transmitted, marking the second consecutive day of rising local infections.

Some of the recent cases involved students and parents, said Education Secretary Kevin Yeung.

Hong Kong Students Sit For Public Exam Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

Temperature checks and social distancing measures to avoid the spread of COVID-19 had been put in place in schools across Hong Kong [File: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images]

06:30 GMT – Fujifilm’s Avigan inconclusive in COVID-19 patients in Japan trial

A clinical trial of Fujifilm Holdings Corp’s Avigan drug yielded inconclusive results as a treatment of COVID-19, Japanese researchers said.

Although patients given the drug early in the trial showed more improvement than those who got delayed doses, the results did not reach statistical significance, Fujita Health University researcher Yohei Doi said.

The results, announced at a news conference, followed the completion of a clinical trial conducted between March and May on 89 patients across Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said he hoped the drug would be approved as a COVID-19 treatment in May, but a shortage of patients in Japan delayed the progress of clinical trials. It has been approved as a COVID-19 treatment in Russia and India.

Hello, this is Farah Najjar taking over from my colleague Zaheena Rasheed.

05:14 GMT – Hong Kong ‘to suspend all schools’

Hong Kong is set to announce the suspension of all schools after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases, the South China Morning Post reported.

The newspaper cited a medical source as saying that at least 30 more people had tested positive for the virus on Friday. Eleven of the new cases were at a public housing estate.

The city had reported 42 new cases on Thursday, of which 34 were locally transmitted.

05:03 GMT – Australia cuts citizen returns as virus surge worsens

Australia will halve the number of citizens allowed to return home from overseas each week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, as authorities struggle to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the country’s second-largest city.

From Monday, only 4,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents will be allowed back into the country each day, down from about 8,000 currently, Morrison said.

Those who return will also have to pay for their quarantine stays.

“The decision that we took … was to ensure that we could put our focus on the resources needed to do the testing and tracing and not have to have resources diverted to other tasks,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra after a meeting of the national cabinet.

04:41 GMT – Pneumonia deadlier than COVID-19 in Kazakhstan, warns China

China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens to take precautions against an outbreak of pneumonia in the country that it says is more lethal than COVID-19.

In a statement on its official WeChat account, the embassy said there had been a “significant increase” in cases in the cities of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent since mid-June.

The disease’s mortality rate “is much higher than that of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus”, it said, noting pneumonia in Kazakhstan had killed 1,772 people in the first half of the year, with 628 deaths in June alone. The deaths included that of Chinese citizens.

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Almaty

People queue outside a pharmacy in Almaty, Kazakhstan on June 29, 2020 [File: Mariya Gordeyeva/ Reuters]

It remains unclear whether it is caused by a virus related to coronavirus or by a different strain. The embassy said Kazakhstan’s health ministry and other health institutions were now carrying out a “comparative study”, but no conclusions had yet been made.

Kazakhstan has recorded more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 264 deaths.

04:32 GMT – California lawsuit against Trump order revoking foreign student visas

The US state of California filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Trump administration rule that could force tens of thousands of international students to leave the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Trump Administration’s unlawful policy … threatens to exacerbate the spread of COVID-19 and exile hundreds of thousands of college students studying in the United States,” a statement announcing the lawsuit said.

03:46 GMT – US posts new daily record for infections

The United States on Thursday posted 65,551 new coronavirus cases, a record for a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The previous daily record was on Tuesday, with more than 60,200 cases in one day.

02:21 GMT – Algeria tightens travel restrictions

Algeria will reimpose travel restrictions on Friday and increase testing in a bid to stop a rise in coronavirus infections, the government said.

Under the measure, citizens will be barred from travelling to and from 29 provinces including the capital, Algiers, for a week starting on Friday, the government said in a statement.

The authorities last month eased restrictions, shortening a curfew – from 7pm to 7am to 8pm to 5am – in those provinces and ending it in the remaining 19.

02:12 GMT – Venezuelan socialist party leader tests positive

Diosdado Cabello, leader of the Venezuelan socialist party, said he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Cabello is considered the second-most powerful person in Venezuela after President Nicolas Maduro and made the announcement on Twitter, stating that he is isolated, getting treatment and will overcome the illness.

“We will win!” he wrote in conclusion.

VENEZUELA-CARACAZO-ANNIVERSARY

Diosdado Cabello gestures during a rally commemorating the 31st anniversary of a deadly popular revolt in Caracas on February 27, 2020 [File: Federico Parra/AFP]

01:24 GMT – Singaporeans begin voting with masks and gloves

Wearing masks and gloves, Singaporeans began casting their ballots under the cloud of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is pushing the city-state’s economy towards its deepest recession and has made concerns over jobs the focus of the election.

“I think it’s ok to vote during a pandemic because the conditions aren’t that severe at this point and all necessary precautions are being taken,” said Malini Nathan, 42, a communications executive.

“Issues I am concerned about are healthcare, job security and retirement,” Nathan said.

People vote in Singapore's general election amid Covid-19

Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob (in green) joins a queue of voters at a polling station in Singapore [Edgar Su/Reuters]

Citizens have each been given a recommended voting window.

Wearing masks is compulsory in public. And voters are expected to spend no more than five minutes in a polling station, where they will self-scan identity cards, sanitise their hands and pull on disposable gloves before receiving a ballot paper.

COVID-19 patients and those under quarantine cannot vote, but a mobile polling team will bring the ballot box to the rooms of Singaporeans who have recently returned from overseas and are being isolated at hotels.

People vote in Singapore's general election amid Covid-19

A relative helps a voter put on plastic gloves, as part of preventive measures against COVID-19 at a Singapore polling station [Edgar Su/ Reuters]

People vote in Singapore's general election amid Covid-19

Voters sanitise their hands at a polling station during Singapore’s general election [Edgar Su/ Reuters]

Sample counts are expected soon after the close of polls at 8pm (12:00 GMT) with final results due in the early hours of Saturday.

In power since independence in 1965, the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is expected to carry Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to another comfortable victory.

01:08 GMT – Bolsonaro ‘in good health’ after positive test

Another update on the Brazilian president – Jair Bolsonaro’s press office is saying he is in good health after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

“President Jair Bolsonaro, diagnosed with COVID-19 on [July] 7, is getting on well, without complications,” the statement says.

“He is in good health and continues to be monitored routinely by the medical team of the Presidency of the Republic.”

00:54 GMT – Bolsonaro again urges reopening of Brazil

Two days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, Bolsonaro repeated his view that the looming economic crisis from the pandemic is more dangerous than the virus for Brazil.

In an online broadcast from the presidential residence, the Brazilian president said mayors and governors need to reopen the country for business. “Otherwise the consequences will be harmful for Brazil,” he said.

00:40 GMT – South Africa reports highest daily rise in new infections

South Africa announced on Thursday its highest daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 13,674.

Africa’s most developed country is now a hot spot in the global pandemic with 238,339 total confirmed cases. Gauteng province, which contains Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, is home to more than a third of the total cases.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said South Africa could run out of available hospital beds within a month.

00:18 GMT – Mexico posts record single-day rise in cases

Mexico on Thursday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,280 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 282,283, health ministry data showed.

The country also recorded 730 additional deaths, bringing its overall death toll to 33,526.

Mexico’s previous one-day record was posted a day earlier on Wednesday, when 6,995 new cases were registered.


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 9, here.

This post was originally posted on Al Jazeera English – View Original Article

Please follow and like us:

About the Author

admin
Have lived and invested in Venezuela full time for the last eight years and visited for each of twelve years prior to that. Studied and closely followed developments in Venezuela since 1996.