International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.2 million – Hong Kong facing third wave of infections – Kashmir introduces strict lockdown

23rd July 2020 (Last Updated July 23rd, 2020 09:53)

23 July

Global: The number of coronavirus cases worldwide passed 15.2 million on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. Known coronavirus deaths number 623,507.

US: The state of California recorded its highest number of new cases in a single day, as the state surpasses New York for the greatest total of cases in the country.

South America: Brazil and Argentina have both registered new daily records for confirmed coronavirus cases. Brazil confirmed 67,860 cases on Wednesday, while Argentina recorded 5,782 cases. Both countries also reported more deaths from the disease, while Peru added 3,688 previously uncounted people to its death toll lifting the total to 17,455.

South Africa: South Africa on Wednesday announced a record 24-hour increase of 572 coronavirus deaths, bringing its total number of fatalities to 5,940, AFP reports. The country is the worst-affected in Africa and among the top five in the world in terms of confirmed cases, with 394,948 infections reported to date.

Australia: Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews says the state has recorded 403 new cases overnight and five new deaths. The cases figure is down from yesterday’s record increase of 484.

China: China’s National Health Commission has reported 22 new cases of coronavirus on the mainland, most of them in the far western region of Xinjiang where mass testing is underway.

Three cases linked to a seafood processing plant have emerged in Dalian, China, weeks after traces of the virus were found on shrimp packaging in the city. The local government has quarantined and tested employees from two related companies amid concern about virus transmission on food packages.

Hong Kong reported a record 113 new cases for Wednesday, in a continuing third wave of Covid-19 infections, including a large proportion of which are unsourced. In addition, Hong Kong’s government issued a statement on Wednesday correcting the number of imported cases to 11 from eight, making the number of local infections 102 rather than 105.

Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea has called on the WHO for help citing a “high likelihood of expanded community transmission”.

Japan: Around 360 new coronavirus cases were found in Tokyo on Thursday, a record for a day, TV Asahi and other Japanese media reported, as a long holiday weekend began in Japan.

Vaccine News

China: China will offer a $1 billion loan to make any coronavirus vaccine it develops available to countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lockdown Updates

Kashmir: Indian-administered Kashmir imposed a strict lockdown for a week, as authorities warned of rising coronavirus cases, one day after cancelling a major annual Hindu pilgrimage.

Israel: Israel’s parliament approved a bill that allows the cabinet to declare a state of emergency and impose new restrictions with little to no parliamentary supervision.

Philippines: The Philippines is suspending a decision to allow non-essential overseas travel after just one company agreed to provide health insurance to outbound passengers. The country had 72,269 virus cases, including 1,843 deaths, as of Wednesday.

Economy Updates

Global: The United Nations Development Programme proposed the immediate introduction of a temporary basic income that could stem the spread of the virus by allowing the world’s poorest people to stay at home.

South Korea: South Korea’s economy recorded its worst performance in more than 20 years in the second quarter, the central bank said Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic hammered its exports.

US: The New York state legislature on Wednesday passed the Healthy Terminals Act, requiring employers at the largest airports in the state to provide additional wages that can be used to acquire health insurance.

China: Cathay Pacific Airways received another blow as Hong Kong unveiled a policy that threatens to eliminate nearly all travel from the US.