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Philippines orders millions to stay home: Coronavirus updates | News

  • Millions of people on the main island of Luzon, including the capital Manila, went back into a partial lockdown for the next two weeks.

  • Australia’s second-most populous state, Victoria, said on Tuesday that 500 military personnel will be deployed to enforce COVID-19 isolation orders, with anyone caught in breach of those rules facing hefty fines as high as $14,250.

  • Latin America broke through five million confirmed cases of COVID-19, a Reuters tally showed, underscoring the region’s position as the area of the world’s hardest hit by the pandemic. It has already reported more than 200,000 deaths.

  • More than 18.28 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus as of Tuesday, up more than 280,000 in just one day. More than 10.9 million have recovered, and more than 693,000 have died.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, August 4

13:45 GMT – Number of cases in Italy higher than expected – study

Six times as many people as officially recorded could have been infected with the coronavirus in Italy, according to a study published by the government.

The study, which was conducted by health authorities and the statistics bureau Istat, found that 1.5 million people, or 2.5 per cent, of Italy’s population could have developed coronavirus antibodies.

13:15 GMT – Vietnam’s new outbreak started in early July – govt

Vietnam’s recent coronavirus outbreak in the central city of Danang, which led to over 200 cases and eight deaths, appears to have started early in July, the government said, amid concern the virus may have been spreading undetected earlier.

“After having conducted antibody tests on 5,000 samples collected from infected patients and their relatives, it can be concluded that the outbreak appears to have started in early July,” Dang Duc Anh, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said in a government statement.

Vietnam has registered 670 COVID-19 cases with eight deaths.

12:30 GMT – Macron announces bonus package for home care workers

French President Emmanuel Macron said the country’s 320,000 home care workers would each be granted a COVID-19 bonus of 500 euros ($587), a package worth 160 million euros ($188m).

“These men and women were the forgotten ones of the COVID bonus,” Macron said during a news conference in the southern city of Toulon, adding the French state would put up 80 million euros and the local governments the other half of the package.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the state would put up 80 million euros and the local governments the other half of the package [File: Anadolu]

11:46 GMT – Coronavirus cases spike in Netherlands

New confirmed coronavirus cases nearly doubled in the Netherlands over the past week to 2,588, health authorities said, continuing a steady surge continuing since lockdown measures were eased at the start of July.

The new cases registered in the week through August 4 were up 95 percent from 1,329 in the week through July 28, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said in its weekly report.

11:09 GMT – Indonesia reports 1,922 new coronavirus cases, 86 deaths

Indonesia has recorded 1,922 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the Southeast Asian country to 115,056, official data by the country’s COVID-19 task force showed.

The data also showed there were 86 additional deaths, taking the overall number of fatalities to 5,388.

10:46 GMT – Hong Kong reports 80 new cases, mostly local transmission

Hong Kong has reported 80 new coronavirus cases, including 75 that were locally transmitted, as authorities raced to contain a third wave of the outbreak which has seen infections soar over the past month.

Since late January, Hong Kong has reported more than 3,600 infections and 40 related deaths.

10:33 GMT – Philippines reports 6,352 coronavirus cases, Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump

The Philippines’ health ministry has reported 6,352 new coronavirus infections, marking the biggest daily jump in cases in Southeast Asia and after posting a record rise in five of the past six days.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases had increased to 112,593, while deaths rose by 11 to 2,115. 

The Philippines Impose Restrictions As Coronavirus Cases Rise

A police officer inspects the temperature of a motorist at a quarantine checkpoint on the first day of a reimposed lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Manila [File: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images] 

10:07 GMT – Poland reports record increases in COVID cases as coal mines hit

Poland has reported its fourth record daily increase in coronavirus cases in a week, with more than 30 percent of cases coming from the Silesia region in the south, which has been grappling with another outbreak among coal miners.

The daily record, with 680 new infections and six deaths, comes as Poland considers introducing stricter restrictions, including mandatory testing for travellers returning to Poland and quarantine for those coming from certain countries.

09:46 GMT – Second COVID wave ‘highly likely’ to hit France this year, scientists say 

A second wave of the novel coronavirus is “highly likely” to hit France in the autumn or winter seasons, the government’s top scientific body warned, as authorities seek to contain an increase in new cases over the past two weeks.

After strict lockdown measures pushed down infection rates, many European countries are now watching numbers creep back up, a consequence of easing curbs to try to limit economic damage and greater social mixing in the holiday season.

“The situation is precarious and we could at any moment tip into a scenario that is less under control, like in Spain,” the French scientific committee said in a statement published by the health ministry.

09:04 GMT – Taiwan provisionally approves dexamethasone as coronavirus treatment

Taiwan has provisionally approved the use of dexamethasone, a cheap and widely-used steroid, to treat the new coronavirus, as the island faces a shortfall of the antiviral drug remdesivir after the United States bought nearly all global supplies.

Taiwan Centres for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang told reporters that medical experts had decided to provisionally allow dexamethasone to be listed as a COVID-19 treatment but that procedures still needed to be completed before it could be given to any patients.

Taiwan has reported 476 cases of the new coronavirus, including seven deaths. Most of the cases are imported and almost all have recovered. It has kept numbers low thanks to early and effective prevention work.

An ampoule of Dexamethasone is seen in this picture illustration

Taiwan has reported 476 cases of the new coronavirus, including seven deaths [File: Yves Herman/Reuters]

08:10 GMT – UK risks twice-as-big second COVID wave without better testing, study finds 

The UK will face a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as widespread as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools without a more effective test-and-trace system in place, according to a study published.

Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine modelled the impact of reopening schools either on a full- or part-time basis, thus allowing parents to return to work, on the potential spread of the virus.

They concluded a second wave could be prevented if 75 percent of those with symptoms were found and tested and 68 percent of their contacts were traced, or if 87 percent of people with symptoms were found and 40 percent of their contacts tested.

07:36 GMT – Russia reports more than 5,100 new coronavirus cases 

Russia has reported 5,159 new cases of the coronavirus, pushing its national tally to 861,423, the fourth largest in the world.

The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 144 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 14,351.

07:15 GMT – Germany already dealing with second coronavirus wave, says doctors’ union

Germany is already contending with a second wave of the coronavirus and risks squandering its early success by flouting social distancing rules, the head of the German doctors’ union said in a newspaper interview published.

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases has ticked up steadily in recent weeks, with health experts warning lax adherence to hygiene and distancing rules among some of the public is spreading the virus across communities.

“We are already in a second, shallow upswing,” Susanne Johna, president of Marburger Bund, which represents doctors in Germany, told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.

Berlin's Pedal Power As Coronavirus Boosts Bicycle Culture

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has ticked up steadily in recent weeks [File: Maja Hitij/Getty Images]

06:54 GMT – Pizza restaurant launches Spain’s first virtual waiter app 

A restaurant on Spain’s northeastern Mediterranean coast is pioneering a dining experience that allows customers to avoid most face-to-face contact with staff and minimise the risk of coronavirus contagion.

Customers at Funky Pizza, in Palafrugell on the Costa Brava popular with tourists, can browse the menu, order and pay via the “Funky Pay” app on their phones – the first time a purpose-designed app has been integrated into a restaurant’s ordering system in Spain.

A waiter does bring the order to the table. Staff manage the orders from screens behind the bar.

“Through this system we have tried to keep physical distance with our clients, which is what people are looking for during COVID,” said restaurant owner Carlos Manich.

06:20 GMT – Indigenous Australian group blocks Uluru access route over pandemic fears

Australia has closed the national park, home to its revered indigenous site of Uluru, after some in the community blocked an access route for fear that visitors could carry in coronavirus infections.

The country is battling a new wave of the deadly virus, with southeastern Victoria state reeling from hundreds of infections, while Indigenous Australians are seen at greater risk as they suffer a higher incidence of other health woes.

“It’s up to tourists to stay away if they come from hotspots or are sick,” Thalia Bohl-Van Den Boogaard, the representative of a group of Indigenous Australians protesting against the visits, told Reuters by telephone.

05:52 GMT – Philippines orders millions to stay home as global virus cases soar

More than 27 million people on the main island of Luzon, including the capital Manila, went back into a partial lockdown for the next few weeks.  

People have been told to stay home unless they need to go out to buy essential goods, for exercise or for work after the number of recorded infections surged past 100,000.

With only 24 hours’ notice of the shutdown, many found themselves stranded in Manila and unable to get back to their hometowns after public transport and domestic flights were halted.

Hi, this is Arwa Ibrahim in Doha, taking over the blog from my colleague Ted Regencia.

05:21 GMT – South Korea reports 34 new COVID-19 cases, mostly from abroad

South Korea has reported 34 more cases of the coronavirus, with the number of imported cases almost twice that of local infections, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday.

The 21 imported cases and 13 local infections raised country’s total COVID-19 infections to 14,423, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

The accumulated number of imported cases reached 2,482 in South Korea.

But the country reported no additional deaths, with the death toll remaining at 301, while the number of patients fully cured of the virus reached 13,352, up 72 from the previous day.

05:00 GMT – Trump nursing home plan limits supply of free COVID-19 tests

The Trump administration’s plan to provide every nursing home with a fast COVID-19 testing machine comes with an asterisk: The government will not supply enough test kits to check staff and residents beyond an initial couple of rounds.

A programme that sounded like a game changer when it was announced last month at the White House is now prompting concerns that it could turn into another unfulfilled promise for nursing homes, whose residents and staff represent a tiny share of the US population but account for as many as four in 10 coronavirus deaths, according to some estimates.

“I think the biggest fear is that the instruments may be delivered but it won’t do any good, if you don’t have the test kits,” said George Linial, president of Leading Age of Texas, a group that represents nursing homes.

The weekly cost of testing employees could range from more than $19,000 to nearly $38,000, according to estimates by the national organisation.

The Trump administration said nursing homes could cover the cost of ongoing testing from a $5bn pot provided by Congress, and allocated to the facilities by the White House.

04:30 GMT – UN chief warns world facing ‘generational catastrophe’ on education

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic and said that getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority”, according to Reuters news agency.

Guterres said that as of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students, while at least 40 million children have missed out on pre-school.

This came on top of more than 250 million children already being out of school before the pandemic and only a quarter of secondary school students in developing countries leaving with basic skills, he said in a video statement.

“Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” said Guterres as he launched a U.N. “Save our Future” campaign.

Read more here.

Sri Lanka

According to the UN chief, as of mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries, affecting more than 1 billion students [File: Chamila Karunarathne/EPA]

04:00 GMT – China and Hong Kong report fewer coronavirus cases

Both mainland China and Hong Kong reported fewer new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday as strict measures to contain new infections appear to be taking effect, according to AP news agency.

Mainland China announced 36 new cases across the country, down from 43 the previous day. Of those, 28 were in the northwestern region of Xinjiang and two in Liaoning province in the northeast.

Another six cases were brought by Chinese arriving from overseas. No new deaths were registered , leaving China’s total at 4,634 among 84,634 cases reported since the virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Hong Kong reported 78 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the first time in almost two weeks that new cases had fallen into double-digits.

03:35 GMT – US adds more the 48,000 new COVID-19 cases, 582 deaths

The United States has added 48,395 new coronavirus cases pushing the total number to 4.73 million, according to a Reuters news agency tally.

Reuters also reported another 582 deaths, adding to the total of almost 156,000.

03:20 GMT – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 879 to 211,281

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 879 to 211,281, Reuters reported on Tuesday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

The reported death toll rose by eight to 9,156, the tally showed.

02:45 GMT – Australia’s Victoria deploys military, imposes fine for breach of isolation orders

Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria said on Tuesday that it will deploy its military and that anyone who has contracted COVID-19 and caught outside their home in breach of isolation orders will face fines of as much as 20,000 Australian dollars ($14,250), according to the Reuters news agency.

Victoria state earlier this week imposed a nightly curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s movement and ordered large parts of the local economy to close to slow the spread of coronavirus.

But state Premier Daniel Andrews said nearly a third of those who had contracted COVID-19 were not home when checked on by officials, requiring tough new penalties to stop community transmission.

Andrews also said 500 military personnel will this week deploy to Victoria to bolster enforcement of self-isolation orders.

02:05 GMT – Filipino doctors to Duterte: We never called for revolt

Philippines - lockdown

The Philippine capital, Manila, and four nearby provinces have been placed under a new lockdown starting on Tuesday until August 18 [Eloisa Lopez/Reuters]

A organisation representing thousands of doctors in the Philippines has issued a new statement saying they have not called for a revolution against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The doctors also said that there was no threat from their group to leave patients “since our oath instructs us to first do no harm to anyone who needs our help”.

This after a furious Duterte, dared medical workers early on Monday to “revolt” against him, after they demanded a new lockdown order to help the spread of the coronavirus.

As of the end of Monday, there were over 106,000 cases reported in the Philippines and more than 2,000 deaths. The Philippine capital, Manila, and four nearby provinces have been placed under a new lockdown starting on Tuesday until August 18.

01:50 GMT – Italy reports 159 new coronavirus cases

The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy has fallen below 200 for the first time in a week, with 159 new cases registered, according to AP news agency quoting the health ministry.

That brings the total number of cases in Italy to 248,229 and deaths to 35,166 as of the end of Monday.

Lazio, the central region that includes Rome, now has the highest number of patients hospitalised for COVID-19 in Italy’s 20 regions. Health officials said nine of the region’s new cases were brought by travelers from abroad.

Two clusters of infections have also been traced to popular seaside areas near Rome. Monday figures tend to be lower since they often don’t include tallies from the weekend.

01:26 GMT – Australia’s Victoria reports 439 new coronavirus cases

Australia’s state of Victoria reported at least 439 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday.

Victoria has declared a state of disaster and imposed strict lockdown following the surge in cases of the disease, also known as COVID-19.

Australia has reported over 18,300 cases and 221 deaths.

01:00 GMT – Mexico reports 4,767 new coronavirus cases, 266 more deaths

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,767 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 266 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 443,813 cases and 48,012 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

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

Mexico - coronavirus

With more than 48,000 confirmed deaths, Mexico is already the third country in the world with the most deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic [Jorge Núñez/EPA]

00:31 GMT – Hong Kong to build temporary hospitals for COVID-19: report

The South China Morning Post has reported that Hong Kong is planning to build at least two temporary hospitals as part of its response to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

The report said that the temporary hospitals could accommodate as many as 2,400 beds.

The latest development comes as cases continue to rise over the last few days. The city has reported at least 3,589 cases, with 38 related deaths. However, the latest number of cases reported was much lower that previous days, when reported new infections hit over 100 daily.

00:05 GMT – Chief of staff to Brazil’s Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Army General Walter Souza Braga Netto, has tested positive for COVID-19, his office said on Monday, becoming the seventh Brazilian minister to have contracted the disease.

Braga Netto is doing well and has no symptoms, according to Reuters News Agency quoting a statement from the government.

Netto will remain in isolation until a new examination and medical evaluation is carried out, and will continue to work remotely.

Last week, Bolsonaro’s wife and one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. Bolsonaro also contracted the disease, but his latest test showed he was no longer infected.

00:01 GMT – Latin America hits five million COVID-19 cases

Latin America has broken through five million confirmed cases of COVID-19, a Reuters tally showed, underscoring the region’s position as the area of the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The more than 10,000 new cases Colombia’s health ministry reported on Monday pushed the region past the 5 million mark, a day after the Andean nation reported a record 11,470 cases.

Mexico has also racked up record numbers of new confirmed infections in recent days, registering more than 9,000 daily cases for the first time on Saturday, a day after Mexico overtook the UK as the country with the third-highest number of deaths caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The region, which has now topped 200,000 deaths, is struggling to stall the spread of the virus, with infections picking up pace in many countries even as governments look to ease lockdowns and revive economic growth.

_______________________________________________________________

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For all the key coronavirus-related developments from yesterday, August 3, click here.


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