International update: Global Covid-19 infections near 21 million as deaths approach 760,000 – cases rising again in France and Germany

14 August 2020 (Last Updated August 14th, 2020 10:29)

14 August

Global: Covid-19 infections are nearing 21 million while the pandemic is responsible for almost 760,000 deaths worldwide, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Nearly half of the deaths reported were in the four worst hit countries: the United States (167,242), Brazil (105,463), Mexico (55,293) and India (48,040).

US: President Donald Trump attacked his rival, Joe Biden, for calling on governors to mandate face coverings in public for the next three months.

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that many regions in the US need to drive the rate of Covid-19 cases sharply lower to avert a dangerous convergence of the pandemic with flu season.

India: India’s coronavirus death toll overtook the UK’s to become the fourth-highest in the world as authorities reported another single-day record increase in confirmed infections. According to the Health Ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths in the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

Brazil: Brazil reported 60,091 new infections, the biggest daily increase since July 29, according to the Health Ministry’s website. Brazil’s total, the second-highest after the US, rose to more than 3.2 million.

France: France reported a new post-lockdown peak in daily Covid-19 cases. The French health ministry reported 2,669 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the second day in a row and taking the country’s cumulative total of cases to 209,365.

Germany: Germany recorded the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in about 3.5 months, with daily infections above 1,000 for four straight days. There were 1,422 new cases in the 24 hours through Friday morning, up from 1,319 the previous day and bringing the total to 222,281, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

UK: The government has quietly removed 1.3 million coronavirus tests from its data because of double counting, raising fresh questions about the accuracy of the testing figures.

New Zealand: Health Minister Chris Hipkins said two of the 13 new infections reported on Friday were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Auckland, the site of the country’s latest outbreak.

South Korea: South Korea reported 103 new coronavirus cases, of which 85 were locally transmitted cases. The figure marks the highest one-day jump in domestic cases since the end of March, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported 7,371 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 627 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 505,751 cases and 55,293 deaths.

Peru: Peru passed 500,000 coronavirus cases and has the highest fatality rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data on Thursday, as the government struggles to contain a recent surge of infections. There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice health minister Luis Suarez said at a news conference.

Vaccine news

Global: The WHO on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars in searching for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments – calling it a snip compared to the vast economic cost of the coronavirus crisis. The World Health Organization insisted it was a smarter bet than the trillions of dollars being thrown at handling the consequences of the global pandemic.

UK: The UK Government will purchase 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 from Novavax Inc., and will also collaborate on a Phase 3 clinical trial expected to start in the third quarter, according to a statement.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s health ministry has registered to buy a Russian Covid-19 vaccine as the country fights a new outbreak of the coronavirus following months of no local cases. In addition, Hai Duong City issued a 15-day social-isolation order that begins Friday as an emergency measure against a coronavirus outbreak, the provincial government of Hai Duong said on its website.

Lockdown updates

UK: The UK government has confirmed that six countries, including France, will be removed from its travel corridor list, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. Arrivals into the UK from France, the Netherlands, Malta, Monaco, Aruba and Turks & Caicos will have to quarantine for 14 days on their return or face a fine. The regulation will come into effect at 4am on Saturday.

North Korea: Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has lifted a lockdown in a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, according to state media.

Indonesia: Authorities in Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta decided against further relaxation in social-distancing measures following a surge in coronavirus infections triggered by the easing of some curbs earlier.

Economic updates

US: New York City’s largest employers remain worried and uncertain about the future course of the virus, with just 26% of workers expected to return by the end of the year, according to a report.