4 August

Global: Covid-19 cases have reached almost 18.3 million with more than 693,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Latin America: Latin America broke through five million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday according to a Reuters tally, underscoring the region’s position as the area of the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brazil has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in the world after the US, with more than 2.75 million and 94,665 deaths, according to health ministry data.

US: The United States has added 48,395 new coronavirus cases pushing the total number to 4.73 million, according to a Reuters tally. The news agency also reported another 582 deaths, adding to the total of almost 156,000.

China: China reported 36 new cases of Covid-19 (including 6 imported cases). Of the 30 local cases, 28 are in the western province of Xinjiang, and two in the eastern province of Liaoning.

For the first time in two weeks, Hong Kong reported fewer than 100 new cases of Covid-19 in a day. The city is experiencing its third and worst wave of the outbreak since the virus first appeared there in January.

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Brazil: President Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, General Walter Souza Braga Netto is the seventh Brazilian minister to have contracted Covid-19. Last week, Bolsonaro’s wife tested positive, following her husband’s infection.

Iran: One person is dying from Covid-19 every seven minutes in Iran, state television said on Monday, as the country’s health ministry reported 215 new deaths from the disease. The combined death toll in Iran rose to 17,405 on Monday while the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035. Of those, 270,228 have recovered.

New Zealand: New Zealand has recorded no new cases of Covid-19. There are 22 cases of the disease in the country, all in managed isolation. The country’s health director general, Ashley Bloomfield, warned that a single case outside of quarantine facilities could turn into a wider outbreak if people were not vigilant.

South Korea: 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).

Italy: 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.

Mexico: 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.

Vietnam: Vietnamese authorities issued a stay-at-home order for Bien Hoa, the capital city of Dong Nai province bordering the nation’s commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s fourth municipality to undergo such a home lockdown.

Vaccine News

The World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that there may never be an effective Covid-19 vaccine.

Lockdown updates

Global: 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.

US: President Trump has rejected a national lockdown to bring the coronavirus pandemic in the US under control and insisted the US had done “very well” fighting the virus. The US has recorded in excess of 4.7 million cases and more than 155,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner instructed police in the fourth-largest US city to begin issuing warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public. The mayor said in a tweet that people meeting certain criteria will be exempted.

Blow-out parties and rising cases nationally prompted New Jersey to lower crowd caps and New York to call for stricter distancing enforcement or risk resurgence of the coronavirus in the pandemic’s early US epicenter.

UK: The UK’s plans to block further spikes in coronavirus allow for ministers to lock down London, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, as officials prepare for a resurgence of Covid-19 in the months ahead.

Australia: The state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster and imposed strict lockdown following the surge in cases of the disease, and the reporting of at least 439 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The state also said 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 A$20,000 ($14,250),

Philippines: The Philippines has begun a lockdown of 27 million people, imposing stricter measures in an attempt to halt the country’s spiralling coronavirus case numbers. The measures were reintroduced on Tuesday after the country’s infection tally topped 100,000 and a coalition of health groups issued a “distress signal” urging President Rodrigo Duterte to act.

Economic updates

Singapore: Singapore plans to expand the range of business visitors to boost its hard-hit tourism sector, with the return of mass travel still a long way off amid the pandemic, according to the head of the country’s tourism agency.