International Update: Global Covid-19 cases increasing by 200,000 a day – US deaths pass 131,000 – UK to reveal mini budget

8th July 2020 (Last Updated July 8th, 2020 11:29)

8 July

Global: There are nearly 11.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The WHO says coronavirus cases are increasing by 200,000 a day, doubling from April and May. The WHO emergencies chief said that the number of Covid-19 deaths appeared to be stable for the moment, but he cautioned that there is often a lag time between when confirmed cases increase and when deaths are reported due to the time it takes for the coronavirus to run its course in patients.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

US: Known US coronavirus cases stand at almost three million, with 2,911,888 currently confirmed on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country’s death toll has passed 131,000 following a massive surge of new cases that has derailed efforts to restart the economy.

The US state of California has reported a record daily rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus – some 10,201 cases.

The US will withdraw the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 July 2021 under a 1948 joint resolution of the US Congress, which also obliges Washington to pay financial support. Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger for the presidency, said he would return the US to the WHO once elected.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19. He said he began feeling ill on Sunday and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against Covid-19. In addition, the country has recorded another 1,312 deaths and more than 48,000 new cases.

UK: Scientists at University College London are warning of the risk of brain damage from coronavirus. UCL researchers studied 43 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, stroke, nerve damage or other serious effects on their brain, and say the disease can lead to severe neurological complications including psychosis and delirium.

India: Mumbai will no longer require a doctor’s prescription from people seeking a test for coronavirus, as India’s largest city and the epicenter of its outbreak seeks to catch more cases early.

Japan: Tokyo has confirmed more than 100 virus cases for six straight days, yet there’s no sign a new state of emergency will be announced.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australia’s coronavirus emergency cabinet will consider limiting the number of its citizens and residents returning home from overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. The prime minister added there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, enforced stay-at-home rules in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.

New Zealand: Officials are reviewing security at mandatory quarantine hotels after a man who tested positive for Covid-19 escaped and spent an hour wandering city streets.

Israel: Israel’s public health director has quit amid a spike in new coronavirus cases, saying the country had been too hasty to reopen its economy and had lost its way in dealing with the pandemic.

Economy updates

UK: Britain is to unveil a mini-budget to kickstart the UK economy, hoping costly infrastructure investment will help build its way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to deliver his spending plans at 1130 GMT, having already flagged £3 billion ($3.7 billion, €3.3bn) of green investment.

Malaysia: Auditors for AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s biggest low cost carrier, have warned there is risk to the airline’s ability to continue in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.