Coronavirus live news: global death toll exceeds 490,000; soldiers sent to Italian town amid tension over new outbreak

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Global cases reach 9.68m as Australia braces for surge – as it happened” was written by Luke Henriques-Gomes (now); Fran Lawther Nadeem Badshah, Sarah Marsh. Frances Perraudin and Helen Sullivan (earlier), for theguardian.com on Saturday 27th June 2020 00.39 UTC

1.39am BST

We have now closed this blog, but you can stay up to date on our new live coronavirus coverage here:

1.20am BST

More than 250 repatriated Australians have returned home and will begin a two-week supervised quarantine in an Adelaide hotel.

The passengers arrived at Adelaide Airport on Saturday morning Australian time on a flight from Mumbai via Singapore, reported AAP.

Authorities wore face masks and provided hand sanitiser to each of the passengers before they were transferred to the Pullman hotel in the CBD by bus.

On Friday, South Australia’s state health minister Stephen Wade said a number of Covid-19 cases should be expected among the returning passengers.

He said all those arriving in the state would be tested when they landed and while in isolation.

“What we’ve seen interstate is about five to 10% of travellers returning from the subcontinent have tested positive on their arrival,” Wade said.

“If we see similar figures in SA we could expect up to 25 new cases from these planes.”

Updated at 1.20am BST

1.09am BST

Summary

Let’s take a look at the key developments from the past few hours.

  • The United States recorded its highest single-day of new Covid-19 cases, with 40,870 new infections confirmed, prompting governors in states such as Texas and Florida to reintroduce some restrictions. Donald Trump cancelled a golf trip in response to the news.
  • The global death toll passed 490,00, while 9.7m cases have been recorded worldwide.
  • The UK government said it would change restrictions for travellers, allowing for people to return from popular holiday spots such as Spain, Greece and France.
  • Brazil recorded 46,860 new cases in the past 24 hours.
  • Concern is growing about a rising number Covid-19 cases in Australia, where the virus’s spread had been all but eliminated until recently.

Updated at 1.25am BST

1.00am BST

US records highest single-day increase of pandemic

The United States recorded at least 40,870 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic, according to a Reuters tally, bringing the total number of Americans to who have tested positive to at least 2.475 million.

The new record for positive tests comes as several states at the centre of a new surge in infections took steps back from efforts to ease restrictions on businesses.

Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars across Texas to close by midday and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50%, while Florida state officials told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises.

Florida issued its new rules after recording a startling 8,942 new cases of Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus, eclipsing the state’s one-day record of 5,511 reached on June 24.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday that Imperial County, east of Los Angeles, has become so overwhelmed by the virus that the state was recommending it issue a strict new stay-at-home order.

Newsom also said that in response to rising Covid-19 hospitalizations he has paused allowing counties to further reopen their economies.

Updated at 1.01am BST

12.54am BST

Covid cases with unknown source rising in Melbourne

There are growing concerns about a surge in cases in Melbourne, where increasing community transmission has put the city at odds with the rest of Australia, where the virus is mostly contained.

Australia has not sought to eliminate the virus – as its neighbours New Zealand have attempted – but its suppression strategy relies heavily on the ability to effectively test and trace.

While testing in Melbourne is at globally impressive levels, The Age newspaper reports that cases with an unknown source are at their highest levels since the pandemic reached Victoria.

The newspaper said more than one third of new cases confirmed between 17 June and 23 June were thought to have been picked up somewhere in the community not linked to identified outbreaks.

Updated at 1.01am BST

12.41am BST

Staying in the US, Reuters reports that the White House is yet to commit to temperature checks for airline passengers.

The vice president, Mike Pence, met with the chief executives of United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and the president of Southwest Airlines at the White House alongside Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) director Mark Redfield, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and other officials.

Airlines want the US government to administer temperature checks to all passengers in a bid to reassure the public.

The Trump administration is open to the idea of having the Transportation Security Administration conduct the tests, but there are still many unanswered questions, including what would happen to passengers who had high fevers and were denied boarding and how to pay for the screening.

Reuters said the CDC does not want to be responsible for travellers with high fevers, according to two people briefed on the meeting.

12.37am BST

My colleague in the US, Sam Levin, has this update.

Most US residents will likely be blocked from travelling to the European Union when travel restarts, due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

EU officials are in the process of settling on a final “safe list” of countries whose residents could travel to the block in July, but the US, Brazil and Russia are set to be excluded, Reuters reported. With coronavirus continuing to spread in the US at alarming rates, the possibility of allowing American tourists into the EU is not even part of the ongoing discussion, six diplomats familiar with the talks told the Washington Post.

The list of allowed countries includes China, but on the condition that China allows EU travellers to visit, the New York Times reported.

Various travel restrictions remain across the globe. Greece, for example, requires Covid tests for arrivals from a number of EU countries, including France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Self isolation is also mandatory until results come in.

You can read our US politics live blog here.

Updated at 12.44am BST

12.24am BST

Returning to Brazil briefly, the president Jair Bolsonaro has appealed a court ruling which found he was required to wear a face mask in public.

Bolsonaro has been regularly photographed meeting supporters without a mask, despite regulations in Brasilia which state that they are mandatory.

Agence-France Presse reports that the Brazilian attorney general’s officesaid the ruling was redundant since face masks are already mandatory in Brasilia.

“This interference from the courts is unnecessary,” a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office told AFP.

Since the ruling, the president has been sighted wearing a mask in public.

12.13am BST

In Australia, there were 36 new cases on Friday, 533 still active. There were six new infections in NSW and 30 in Victoria which has trebled its active cases to 183 in just over a week.

Authorities say seven of Victoria’s cases are linked to known outbreaks, while five are of people in hotel quarantine, five were detected through routine testing, and 13 remain under investigation.

In NSW, a 12-year-old Sydney high school student was among those who tested positive. Queensland also notched up its first case in over a week – a defence force worker returning from Papua New Guinea.

12.07am BST

Brazil sees 46,800 cases in 24 hours

Brazil registered 46,860 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 990 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Friday.

The nation has now registered 1,274,974 total confirmed cases of the virus and 55,961 deaths.

It follows the 39,483 cases recorded in the South American country on Thursday.

Updated at 12.12am BST

11.57pm BST

More than 9.68 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 490,118 have died, according to Reuters’ latest tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

11.53pm BST

Summer holidays abroad have been given the green light for UK tourists after the government confirmed the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the UK will be scrapped for a slew of popular destinations.

The Press Association reports that trips to France, Greece and Spain look on the cards after the government confirmed it will revise the quarantine measures at Monday’s review.

In place of the quarantine arrangements will be a traffic light system, with officials placing countries into green, amber and red categories based on the prevalence of coronavirus within each nation’s borders.

Only passengers arriving into the UK from nations in the red category, where the spread of coronavirus is deemed to be high, will be told to self-isolate for two weeks.

Travellers will, however, still have to hand over the address they plan to reside at on their return, no matter which country they are coming back from.

As well as allowing holidays abroad to take place this summer, the government said the changes would provide a “vital lifeline for UK travel operators and those whose jobs rely on the travel industry”.

A government spokeswoman said: “Our public health measures at the border were put in place to manage the risk of imported cases and help prevent a second wave of the virus, and will continue to support our fight against coronavirus.

“Our new risk-assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world – giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business.

“But we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to reintroduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas.”

Updated at 12.12am BST

11.45pm BST

The San Franscisco mayor, London Breed, says the city is delaying plans to reopen sections of the economy on Monday.

She explained the decision in a series of tweets.

Updated at 1.11am BST

11.33pm BST

Australia is bracing for the likelihood of more coronavirus cases as hundreds of return travellers land in the coming days, and a worrying surge in infections continues in the state of Victoria.

Although the virus has been all but eliminated in large swathes of the country, the Victorian capital Melbourne continued its run of double-digit case increases with 30 new cases on Friday, while the city also recorded the first Covid-related death in many weeks on Wednesday.

Despite authorities’ concerns in Victoria, others states where community transmission is negligible are beginning to open up their economies. Western Australia’s nightclubs, for example, are among a large list of businesses allowed to reopen this weekend.

Still, Australia’s outgoing chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said Friday night he was sure that the country’s borders would not fully reopen until a vaccine is found. It followed a prediction from the national carrier, Qantas, that international travel would not resume for Australians until July next year.

Updated at 1.10am BST

11.29pm BST

Hello, this is Luke Henriques-Gomes in Melbourne. We will be restarting our global coronavirus live blog now.

First up, I’ll bring you the latest news from Australia shortly.

7.36pm BST

We’re pausing this live blog for a short while. For the latest on US coronavirus developments, head to our US live blog here:

Meanwhile, in England, police chiefs are warning of civil unrest if political leaders take a hardline approach to public disorder as the lockdown lifts. You can read the full piece here:

And finally, the age profile of new infections in the coronavirus pandemic appears to be younger following resurgences in countries such as the United States, Israel and Portugal linked to greater social contact among under 40s following the loosening of restrictions.

The trend has been most marked in the US and noted by scientists at the World Health Organization, who have also seen infections of younger people in the developing world contributing to the shifting demographics.

More on that here:

Updated at 7.39pm BST

7.03pm BST

Summary

Here are the key developments from the past few hours:

  • The global death toll has passed 490,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The figure has reached 490,632 with the US accounting for around 124,500 deaths, the highest of any country.
  • Health officials in the UK said 43,414 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 186 from the day before. The government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 54,000.
  • The governor of Texas is shutting down bars and lowering restaurant capacity back down to 50%, as the state grapples with a surge in new coronavirus cases. Before this morning’s announcement from its governor, Greg Abbott, restaurant capacity was capped at 75% and bars were allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
  • Florida is reporting a record-high number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, after the state set its last record earlier this week. The Florida department of health reported 8,942 new cases from yesterday, shattering the state’s previous single-day record of 5,506 cases. The state announced it is suspending alcohol consumption at bars as a result.
  • The World Health Organization-led coalition fighting the coronavirus needs .3 bn over the next 12 months to develop and roll out tests, treatments and vaccines. The WHO initiative aims to scale up delivery of 500m tests and 245m courses of treatments to low- and middle-income countries by mid-2021, it said in a statement.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has offered to help hospitals in other states struggling to cope with Covid-19 cases.He also criticised states that reopened their economies before getting the virus under control, saying there was “undeniable, irrefutable evidence” that they made a mistake.
  • Italy has sent soldiers to restore order in a coastal town near Naples after a coronavirus outbreak at an apartment complex illegally occupied by hundreds of migrant workers caused angry confrontations with residents, Reuters reports.
  • Syria faces an unprecedented hunger crisis with more than 9.3 million people lacking adequate food while the country’s coronavirus outbreak, though apparently controlled for now, could still accelerate, UN aid agencies said on Friday. The World Food Programme (WFP) told a briefing in Geneva the number of people short of essential foodstuffs had risen by 1.4 million in the past six months.

Updated at 9.07pm BST

6.42pm BST

The number of people who died from coronavirus in France rose by 26 to 29,778 on Friday, but people hospitalised for Covid-19 fell below the 9,000 threshold for the first time in more than three months.

That fatalities increase is the highest in three days. France’s death toll is the fifth-highest in the world.

6.24pm BST

Trump cancels weekend golf resort visit amid rise in coronavirus cases

The US president, Donald Trump, on Friday cancelled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, the White House said in an updated schedule.

The White House did not provide a reason for the cancellation, which comes amid a rise in novel coronavirus cases in many states.

The White House spokesman Judd Deere said the cancellation was not related to New Jersey’s requirement that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

The president visited one of the states with high rates, Arizona, earlier this week.

Trump has stepped up his travel in recent weeks in an effort to jumpstart his re-election campaign and emphasise the US economic reopening after months of a coronavirus-induced shutdown.

But rising numbers of infections in areas of the country have raised concerns about the speed of the reopening amid a still strong pandemic.

Updated at 6.29pm BST

6.06pm BST

During the briefing in Washington, Pence blamed the rising number of new coronavirus cases on increased testing.

“It’s almost inarguable that more testing is generating more cases,” he said.

However, public health experts have said the rising number of cases is more attributable to states reopening and Americans relaxing social distancing practices.

It is also important to note that coronavirus hospitalizations are rising in many states, indicating the crisis is worsening.

Pence said President Trump had asked the White House coronavirus taskforce to hold a briefing because of the surge in cases in southern states.

“Our focus today is very much on the advent of a rising series of new cases across the American South,” Pence said.

“President Trump asked us to brief the American people to give details on what we’re seeing, what we’re doing and how it’s different from two months ago.”

Mike Pence participates in a White House coronavirus taskforce news briefing
Mike Pence participates in a White House coronavirus taskforce news briefing.
Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Updated at 6.27pm BST

6.01pm BST

Pence added that half of new virus cases are Americans aged under 35 and that 16 states are seeing an increase in cases.

5.54pm BST

The US vice-president, Mike Pence, is now holding the first coronavirus taskforce briefing in nearly two months.

He urged Americans to embrace social distancing amid rising cases.

Pence also announced he would still visit Texas on Sunday, as planned, to “get a ground report” on the state’s surge in new coronavirus cases.

He heralded the progress made in hard-hit states like New York and New Jersey.

“We have made truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward,” he said.

Updated at 6.26pm BST

5.42pm BST

The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has offered to help hospitals in other states struggling to cope with Covid-19 cases.

He also criticised states that reopened their economies before getting the virus under control, saying there was “undeniable, irrefutable evidence” those states made a mistake.

Cuomo said New York was ready and willing to assist states with surging outbreaks by sending volunteer staff and equipment.

“Our offer is open-ended,” the governor said.

“Equipment, staff, knowledge, ventilators, National Guard assistance, whatever they need.”

Updated at 6.25pm BST

5.26pm BST

Global death toll passes 490,000 mark

The global death toll has passed 490,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The figure has reached 490,632 with the US accounting for 124,509 fatalities, the highest of any country.

Brazil has recorded 54,971 deaths, followed by the UK with 43,498, according to the US-based university’s tracker.

Updated at 6.02pm BST

5.15pm BST

Here is a video of clashes between residents near Naples after a cluster of Covid-19 cases put five buildings in lockdown, and the army was deployed to the area.

Updated at 5.35pm BST

5.07pm BST

Florida closes bars after reporting record-high level of new cases

A Florida official has announced the state is closing its bars after reporting a record-high level of new coronavirus cases.

Halsey Beshears, the head of Florida’s department of business and professional regulation, said the policy would be in effect “immediately”.

The announcement came less than an hour after the Florida department of health reported that the state confirmed 8,942 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, breaking a record set earlier this week.

The health department also reported a frightening rise in the rate of positive test results. On Thursday, 13.1% of test results come back positive, compared with 8.9% on Wednesday.

Updated at 5.21pm BST

4.59pm BST

A South African high court has dismissed an attempt by tobacco makers to overturn a ban on sales of their products, saying the addictiveness of cigarettes did not qualify them as essential products.

Since 27 March, the government has imposed a tobacco sales ban as part of stringent measures to control the spread of coronavirus.

The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) legally challenged the “irrational” ban, saying it had led to the mushrooming of an illicit cigarette market in the country.

But the request went up in smoke and three judges in the Gauteng high court ruled that cigarettes and related tobacco products do not, by their nature, fall into the same category as goods which are life-sustaining or necessary for basic functionality.

Tobacco and alcohol were among the products banned since the beginning of the lockdown, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa lifted the ban on alcohol sales on 1 June, he kept the moratorium on tobacco “due to the health risks associated with smoking”.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Photograph: Jérôme Delay/AP

Updated at 5.10pm BST

4.42pm BST

Paris’s Orly airport reopened on Friday after three months closure during the coronavirus pandemic, which was briefly disrupted by climate protesters storming the runway.

A plane operated by low-cost carrier Transavia took off for Porto, the first commercial flight since the airport came to a halt on 31 March.

Two firetrucks on either side of the plane shot arcs of water over the stationary aircraft in celebration, with the passengers inside waiting to taxi to the runway.

But hours later, Extinction Rebellion activists stormed the runway, lit flares and attached themselves to bicycles with locks around their necks. They were protesting against the bailing out of the aviation industry, which suffered huge losses with the grounding of air traffic during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Twenty-nine people were arrested including a journalist from ecological news website Reporterre, according to an Extinction Rebellion tweet.

About 8,000 passengers were expected on Friday, less than 10% of the daily pre-virus average of about 90,000. They will be on more than 70 flights, compared with the normal run of 600 a day.

Traffic is due to increase to 200 flights daily in July but it will depend much on whether Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia reopen their borders, as well as on whether the virus remains under control.

For nearly three months, all commercial flights from Paris have taken off from Charles de Gaulle airport.

Updated at 4.54pm BST

4.31pm BST

Florida is reporting a record-high number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, after the state set its last record earlier this week.

The Florida department of health reported 8,942 new cases from yesterday, shattering the state’s previous single-day record of 5,506 cases, which was reported on Wednesday.

Florida has confirmed 122,960 coronavirus cases in total and the state has lost 3,366 residents to the virus so far.

The rate of positive test results has also increased, the Florida department of health reported. Thursday saw 13.1% of test results come back positive, up from 8.9% on Wednesday.

Updated at 4.51pm BST

4.25pm BST

South-east Asian leaders have warned the virus pandemic has swept away years of economic gains and was hindering negotiations over the flashpoint South China Sea as they met online for a delayed summit.

Vietnam, the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), had wanted to use the summit to inject momentum into talks on a sprawling China-backed trade pact.

But the immediate focus for the 10-member bloc was the crippling cost of the coronavirus, which has ravaged the economies of tourism and export-reliant countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

“It has swept away the successes of recent years … threatening the lives of millions of people,” Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, said in a sobering opening address.

He emphasised the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among Asean’s members.

Asean’s general secretary, Lim Jock Hoi, confirmed the bleak outlook, warning the region’s economy is expected to contract for the first time in 22 years.

Updated at 4.35pm BST

4.18pm BST

Belgium has set up a new system to track mobile phones in order to limit crowding of seaside resorts and beaches that formally open for the summer season on Saturday.

Health authorities across Europe are concerned at the prospect of masses flocking to local beaches and risking the spread of the coronavirus, such as at the English resort of Bournemouth on Thursday.

Belgium’s coastal towns are not seeking to bar tourists from coming, but do want them to use common sense, such as rerouting to a less busy spot or choosing to shop later.

The 10 districts along the coast will detect mobile phones on beaches and the nearby dikes and seafronts and display the live information on a website, with codes from dark green for calm to orange for very busy.

A further 130 sensors in the towns will indicate to people the busy spots they should avoid. The website hopes to give an idea of how busy the resorts are likely to be in the coming days.

One town has put in beach markings to indicate 3 square metres.
“We have implemented what we call ‘beach bubbles’, where one family or friends can be together in a safe way and to visualise the distance that they should be from one another,” Anthony Wittesaele, town councillor for tourism, told Reuters.

Swimming in the sea off Belgium is banned until the on-season, when lifeguards are patrolling. It was delayed from May until this Saturday and runs until mid-September.

4.08pm BST

A few more pictures from Mondragone in southern Italy, where the military was sent in to restore order after a coronavirus outbreak at an apartment complex illegally occupied by hundreds of migrant workers caused angry confrontations with residents.

The area has been sealed off and people will need to quarantine for two weeks, the regional president has said. Hundreds of tests have been carried out as part of efforts to contain the outbreak.

Soldiers secure a red zone, where new 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed.
Soldiers secure a red zone, where new 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed.
Photograph: EPA
A woman delivers a cart with food for people in quarantine at a residential complex in Mondragone.
A woman delivers a cart with food for people in quarantine at a residential complex in Mondragone.
Photograph: Ciro de Luca/Reuters
Medic takes a sample from a woman to test for Covid-19 at an apartment complex where dozens of cases have been registered among a community of Bulgarian farm workers.
Medic takes a sample from a woman to test for Covid-19 at an apartment complex where dozens of cases have been registered among a community of Bulgarian farm workers.
Photograph: Riccardo De Luca/AP

3.53pm BST

UK official death toll rises by 186 since yesterday

Health officials said 43,414 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Thursday, up by 186 from the day before.

The government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 54,000.

The Department for Health and Social Care also said in the 24-hour period up to 9am on Friday, 165,665 tests were carried out or dispatched, with 1,006 positive results. Overall, a total of 8,911,226 tests have been carried out and 309,360 cases have been confirmed positive.

The figure for the number of people tested has been “temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting” across all methods of testing.

Updated at 4.02pm BST

3.41pm BST

Texas shuts down bars and lowers restaurant capacity amid surge in cases

The governor of Texas is shutting down bars and lowering restaurant capacity back down to 50%, as the state grapples with a surge in new coronavirus cases.

Before this morning’s announcement from its governor, Greg Abbott, restaurant capacity was capped at 75% and bars were allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a press release. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.”

For more on this and all the latest on the coronavirus crisis in the US, you can follow our dedicated US blog here:

Updated at 4.00pm BST

3.23pm BST

The Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by phone on Friday, the Greek leader’s office said – a rare such contact for two neighbours at odds over a range of issues.

Erdoğan and Mitsotakis addressed ways of handling the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the reopening of borders and the re-establishment of tourist flows, a statement from Mitsotakis’s office said.

“Mr Mitsotakis and Mr Erdoğan agreed to keep the bilateral channels of communication open,” it said. A source with knowledge of the matter said: “The two leaders didn’t discuss high policy matters but they did agree that tension is relatively high and that channels of communication must be restored.

“There cannot be a de-escalation of tensions if the two sides don’t talk.”

Though Nato partners and neighbours, Greece and Turkey have testy relations and differences on issues as diverse as airspace rights, maritime boundaries and ethnically divided Cyprus.

I’m Fran Lawther and I’m now taking over from my colleague Sarah Marsh. Thanks for following along.

Updated at 4.08pm BST

3.03pm BST

European stock markets bounced back on Friday from recent losses, but an increase in global coronavirus infections fanned worries about a feared second wave, dealers said.

Leading European indices were posting healthy gains by the mid-afternoon.

“Governments and central banks continue to shield equities from the bad news on fresh spikes in coronavirus and evidence of the economic damage wrought by the pandemic,” said Russ Mould, investment director at brokerage firm AJ Bell.

But on Wall Street, the Dow index lost ground at the opening bell as investors conviction about a rebounding economy was “being stymied by lingering Covid-19 concerns as new cases persist,” said analysts at the Charles Schwab brokerage.

Adding to caution was US personal spending data for May, which showed a smaller than expected rebound from the previous month, they said.

Updated at 3.05pm BST

2.33pm BST

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Marsh and I am running the global live feed from the Guardian’s London office, bringing you the latest updates from around the world.

If you want to get in touch to share any comments, views and news tips then please do via any of the channels below. It’s always really useful to hear from readers. You can message me direct about a UK story, or send anything else and I can forward it to our regional correspondents.

Twitter: @sloumarsh
Instagram: sarah_marsh_journalist
Email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

Updated at 2.42pm BST

2.33pm BST

Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi said Friday that it would eliminate 1,700 European jobs, including 1,000 in France, as part of a cost-cutting drive announced last December.

The move comes just days after the company announced it would invest €490m (£445m) to build a new vaccine production site in France that would create 200 jobs, during a factory visit alongside Emmanuel Macron.

Company officials did not mention the coming layoffs during the visit, “but the French authorities knew that we had a restructuring to carry out,” Sanofi’s France chief, Olivier Bogillot, told AFP on Friday.

The layoffs will be voluntary, and will affect marketing and support divisions as well as some research jobs.

Updated at 2.45pm BST

2.09pm BST

The Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) is in talks to test a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Italian researchers, the dean of the Brazilian university told Reuters.

With the world’s worst outbreak outside the US, Brazil has become a leading front in the global race for a vaccine, as clinical trials are likely to yield results faster in places where the virus is widespread.

Soraya Smaili, the president of Unifesp, said on Wednesday: “We are already in advanced discussions with Italy’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute. We expect to bring it here, the accord is already moving forward and we’ll be able to do a lot of studies with this vaccine.”

The Italian researchers want to conduct midstage trials and final phase three studies involving thousands of subjects in Brazil, Smaili said.

Updated at 2.22pm BST

2.01pm BST

Around the world at a glance:

Some powerful US senators are pushing back against an attempt by the Trump administration’s Treasury Department to weaken a watchdog panel involved with overseeing .4tn in pandemic aid, according to three congressional aides. The Trump administration has petitioned the US supreme court to invalidate the Obamacare law, which added millions to the healthcare safety net, seeking to scrap coverage during the novel coronavirus crisis.

More than 9.62 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 489,208 have died, a Reuters tally showed as of 1222 GMT on Friday.

Russia reported on Friday 6,800 new coronavirus cases, the first daily rise below 7,000 since late April, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 620,794.

Ireland plans to lift from 9 July a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries that have also suppressed the coronavirus, acting prime minister, Leo Varadkar, said on Thursday.

Argentine doctors are predicting coronavirus cases will peak in coming weeks as the southern hemisphere winter sets in, straining hospital intensive care units after confirmed cases accelerated past 50,000.

The governor of Texas temporarily halted the state’s reopening on Thursday as Covid-19 infections and the number of people admitted to hospital surged, as the US set a new record for a one-day increase in cases.

Mexico’s health ministry on Thursday reported 6,104 new confirmed cases and 736 deaths. The finance ministry said it has initiated epidemiological contact tracing after the finance minister, Arturo Herrera, tested positive for the virus.

Japan recorded on Friday more than 100 new infections for the first time since 9 May, hitting its highest daily total since it eased a lockdown, Kyodo News reported.

Thailand confirmed on Friday four new coronavirus cases, all of which were imported from abroad, marking 32 days without community transmission.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates will cooperate in the fight against the coronavirus, the two countries said on Thursday, in a possible boost to Israeli efforts to normalise relations with Gulf Arab countries.

Nigeria’s outbreak may push 5 million people into poverty as it triggers the worst recession in the African country since the 1980s, the World Bank said.

Updated at 2.09pm BST

1.38pm BST

WHO-led coalition needs .3bn for tools to fight Covid-19

The World Health Organization-led coalition fighting the coronavirus needs .3 bn over the next 12-18 months to develop and roll out tests, treatments and vaccines, it said on Friday.

The coalition, called Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, aims to scale up delivery of 500m tests and 245m courses of treatments to low- and middle-income countries by mid-2021, it said in a statement.

It also aims to scale up delivery of 2bn vaccine doses, including 1 bn to be bought by low- and middle-income countries, by the end of 2021.

Updated at 6.56pm BST

1.36pm BST

Vaxart Inc said on Friday it would test its potential Covid-19 vaccine on monkeys in a study organised by the Trump Administration’s vaccine-acceleration program called Operation Warp Speed.

Shares of the US vaccine developer jumped 63% before the opening bell. The company said the study would be funded by Operation Warp Speed, which aims to provide safe and effective vaccines by January 2021.

Vaxart said the vaccine is an oral tablet and is easier to store and administer than injectable ones.

There are no approved vaccines for the coronavirus, and several companies including AstraZeneca Plc and Moderna Inc have been rushing to develop a viable vaccine candidate.

Executives and other experts have suggested clinical trials to guarantee a vaccine is safe and effective could take a minimum of 12 to 18 months

Updated at 2.09pm BST

1.16pm BST

The World Health Organization is holding a press briefing, which you can watch at the top of this blog.

They are talking about the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, or the ACT Accelerator, which is designed to accelerate the development, production and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics for coronavirus.

Updated at 1.36pm BST

12.57pm BST

Italy sends soldiers to town near Naples amid tensions over Covid-19 outbreak

Italy has sent soldiers to restore order in a coastal town near Naples after a coronavirus outbreak at an apartment complex illegally occupied by hundreds of migrant workers caused angry confrontations with residents, Reuters reports.

The authorities announced on Thursday that more than 40 people living at the abandoned buildings in Mondragone, 45km from Naples, had tested positive for Covid-19, and warned the entire town could be quarantined if the outbreak proves widespread.

A resident living in a building inside the red zone where new 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed in Mondragone, Italy.
A resident living in a building inside the red zone where new 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed in Mondragone, Italy.
Photograph: ANSA/AFP/Getty Images

The apartment buildings were sealed off to prevent the spread of infection but footage on RAI state TV from Thursday showed a group of residents defying the order to stay put and marching through the town in protest at what they said was raciial discrimination.

Many of those living at the complex are Bulgarians working as seasonal fruit pickers in the fields around the town.

An Italian soldier standing guard below buildings inside the red zone where 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed in Mondragone, Southern Italy.
An Italian soldier standing guard below buildings inside the red zone where 49 cases of coronavirus infections were confirmed in Mondragone, Southern Italy.
Photograph: ANSA/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 1.42pm BST

12.36pm BST

Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s faltering response to soaring new coronavirus numbers in his state is descending into acrimony, after an accusation his administration is “cooking the books” in an effort to hide the true impact of the devastating pandemic – reports Richard Luscombe in Miami.

The claim from the state’s former leading Covid-19 data scientist comes as Florida records a second successive day of new cases of the disease above 5,000 – the highest figures since the pandemic began.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Photograph: John Raoux/AP

The situation in Florida is part of a widespread surge of infections across broad swathes of the US, especially in states – often run by Republicans – which have rushed to reopen their economies.

So far this month, Florida has seen confirmed cases more than double from 56,000 to above 114,000, and set daily records on seven of the last 13 days. Meanwhile, the number of deaths among Florida residents has climbed to almost 3,400.

Read the full story here –


12.09pm BST

Syria faces unprecedented hunger crisis, UN aid agencies warn

Syria faces an unprecedented hunger crisis with more than 9.3 million people lacking adequate food while the country’s Coronavirus outbreak, though apparently controlled for now, could still accelerate, UN aid agencies said on Friday.

The World Food Programme (WFP) told a briefing in Geneva the number of people short of essential foodstuffs had risen by 1.4 million in the past six months.

Food prices had also soared by more than 200% in less than a year, due to the freefall in neighbouring Lebanon’s economy and Covid-19 lockdown measures in Syria, WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said.

After nine years of armed conflict, more than 90% of Syria’s population lives under the (£1.60) per day poverty line and humanitarian needs are growing, Akjemal Magtymova, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Syria, told a separate briefing.

Fewer than half of Syria’s public hospitals are functional, while half of the medical workforce has fled since the conflict began, she said, with those remaining facing a “pervasive threat of kidnapping and targeted killings”.

Updated at 12.50pm BST

12.05pm BST

Portugal is set to tighten restrictions on several parts of Greater Lisbon, as officials scramble to contain a wave of infections that have turned the country into a European hot spot for new Covid-19 cases.

Starting on 1 July, residents living in 19 of the 118 parishes in the Lisbon metropolitan area will be allowed to leave home only for food, medication or to travel to work. Gatherings in the affected areas, which do not include central Lisbon, will be limited to five people.

As the coronavirus crisis swept Europe, the swift response by Portuguese officials was credited with limiting the death toll to 1,549.

But as restrictions were relaxed, the number of new cases has surged to an average of 275 new cases a day, according to the Associated Press, with the country of 10.3 million people recording one of the highest rates per capita of new cases in Europe.

The uptick has been mostly concentrated on the outskirts of Lisbon, linked to some of the capital’s most densely-populated neighbourhoods as well as industrial hubs. Impromptu parties and raves that have attracted as many as 1,000 revellers – flouting a nationwide ban on gatherings of more than 20 people – have also come under fire.

The government began clamping down earlier this week, ushering in new restrictions for more than two million of the country’s residents living in and around the country’s capital. Among the new rules was a ban on shops being open after 8pm and increased policing to ensure residents are wearing masks in shops and closed spaces.

The spike in cases comes as Portugal prepares to open its doors to tourists, in hopes of salvaging an industry that accounts for around 15% of the country’s GDP.

The government has brushed off suggestions that the virus is out of control, instead arguing that the rise in new cases is due to testing rates that outstrip much of Europe, with an average of 98,000 tests carried out each week.

11.55am BST

Summary

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • About 40% of residents in the Tyrolean skiing resort that has been described as a possible “ground zero” for the pandemic in Europe have developed Covid-19 antibodies, scientists have found. Of those infected, only 15% had experienced any sort of symptoms, the study found. This means as many as 85% experienced the infection without noticing.
  • Ukraine on Friday reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be reimposed if people continued to flout restrictions. Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine’s total to more than 41,000.
  • Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the UN children’s agency warned Friday. The stark prediction comes in a new Unicef report, Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and Covid-19. It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20% increase in the current figure.
  • The French health authorities will carry out 1.3m coronavirus tests in the Île-de-France (greater Paris) region in an experimental scheme aimed at establishing if there are “hidden clusters”.
  • Japan’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app has been downloaded more than 4m times since its launch a week ago as the government seeks to head off a second wave of infections now that businesses and schools have reopened. Health ministry official Yasuyuki Sahara said while there was no target number for downloads, “we want to make as many people as possible to use this app”.
  • A preliminary study of 125 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 across the UK has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases. The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of Covid-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments.
  • Cases worldwide passed 9.6m on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10 million by the end of the week. The total stands at 9,609,829. At least 489,312 people have died so far.
  • US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week. The CDC’s new estimate that for every diagnosis of coronavirus in the US it is likely that 10 more people are or have been infected is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease, the officials said.
  • UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast. Hancock said on TalkRadio he had the power to close the beaches if people did not respect physical-distancing rules. He said he was reluctant to go down that route as “people have had a pretty tough lockdown”. But he added that if there was a spike in the number of coronavirus cases “then we will take action”.

Updated at 12.40pm BST

11.40am BST

Vietnam and the Philippines warned of growing insecurity in south-east Asia at a regional summit on Friday amid concerns that China was stepping up its activity in the disputed South China Sea during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Hanoi and Manila lodged protests with China in April after Beijing unilaterally declared the creation of administrative districts on islands in the troubled waterways to which Vietnam and the Philippines also have competing claims.

“Even as our region struggles to contain Covid-19, alarming incidents in the South China Sea occurred,” the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, told an online meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders on Friday.

Updated at 11.57am BST

11.18am BST

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Marsh and I am running the global live feed from the Guardian’s London office, bringing you the latest updates from around the world. It’s a hot morning here (around 11.17am BST).

If you want to get in touch to share with me comments, views and news tips then please do via any of the channels below. It’s always really useful to hear from readers. You can message me direct about a UK story, or send anything else and I can forward it to our regional correspondents.

Twitter: @sloumarsh
Instagram: sarah_marsh_journalist
Email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

11.05am BST

Austria: 40% of residents in coronavirus ‘ground zero’ ski resort have antibodies

Some 40% of residents in the Tyrolean skiing resort that has been described as a possible “ground zero” for the pandemic in Europe have developed Covid-19 antibodies, scientists have found.

Scientists from the university of Innsbruck tested 80% of the population of Ischgl, a popular Austrian skiing destination from which tourists have been confirmed to have carried the virus to Germany, Britain, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and even Brazil and Israel.

Of 1,259 adults and 214 children tested, 42.5% had developed antibodies for the virus. The director of the university’s Institute for Virology, Dorothee von Laer, on Thursday described the result as the higher level of infection confirmed across the globe so far.

Of those infected, only 15% had experienced any sort of symptoms, the study found. This means as many as 85% experienced the infection without noticing.

Updated at 11.50am BST

11.01am BST

Lockdown in Afghanistan leads to rise in violence against women

Coronavirus lockdowns have led to a rise in violence against women in Afghanistan.

It comes as the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections has reached 30,000, amid lack of testing capacity and shortage of compressed oxygen with four new Polio cases also confirmed.

The Afghan attorney general’s office said Thursday that 1,173 cases of violence against women and 832 of child abuses have been taken place in the first six months of 2020. Most cases (339) were in the capital of Kabul, while the western Herat province reported 94 cases.

Sina Shena Mansour, deputy attorney for Violence Against Women and Children, said the department had registered 249 cases of women getting physically assaulted during the Covid-19 lockdowns, when they were all at home.

“Men’s impatience has increased and we knew that violence would rise too, during the quarantine. Therefore, all of our offices were open for the people and we had recorded 249 cases of beatings during quarantine throughout Afghanistan,” Mansour said.

Jamshid Rasouli, spokesman for the attorney general said cases of violence against women include rape, physical assault, harassment, forced marriage, obstruction of the right to marry, forced isolation, and the preventing them from their right of inheritance.

He said 548 women were physically assaulted, 141 reported harassment and 121 were victims of rape.

Meanwhile, data collected by the International Rescue Committee shows “a much higher discrepancy” between male and female confirmed Covid-19 cases, compared with the global average, in many countries including Afghanistan. According to the committee 72% cases in the country are male and 28% are female.

The Afghan health ministry has detected 276 new Covid-19 infections from 932 tests, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 30,451. The number of deaths has risen by 8 to 683.

The war-torn country, which has admitted it has a lack of testing capacity, has tested 69,558 suspected patients since the outbreak began. The number of recoveries has exceeded 10,000. Local media reported Covid-19 hospitals in the capital are struggling with shortage of compressed oxygen. Footage shows family members of patients clashing over balloons of oxygen outside a hospital in the capital.

The capital, Kabul, which has been the country’s worst affected area, in both number of deaths and transmissions, still leads new daily infections as most new cases (71) have been reported in the capital, Kabul has so far recorded 12,546 cases and 156 deaths.

The ministry also reported four new Polio cases on Thursday. It has raised concerns about the disease as vaccination campaigns have been paused for the last three months due to coronavirus pandemic. The health ministry detected 23 new Polio cases in the first six months of this year compared with 13 cases in the same period of 2019.

Updated at 11.47am BST

10.51am BST

Ukraine on Friday reported a record daily increase in coronavirus cases as authorities warned lockdowns may have to be reimposed if people continued to flout restrictions.

Health authorities recorded 1,109 new coronavirus infections in the previous 24 hours, bringing Ukraine’s total to more than 41,000.

“People have ceased to comply with restrictions,” the prime minister, Denys Shmygal, wrote on his Telegram channel late Thursday. “If we want to preserve the economy and not quarantine the country, the only way is to adhere to restrictions together.”

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly complained that people are ignoring social distancing and other safety rules after anti-virus restrictions were eased last month.

“We have entered a serious wave,” Shmygal said, adding that the number of coronavirus patients who needed to be hospitalised was also rising.

Ukrainian authorities said last week they were considering reimposing restrictions in several regions hardest hit by the virus.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization said there had been a surge in cases in Europe s since countries began easing restrictions.

Updated at 11.36am BST

10.43am BST

Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the UN children’s agency warned Friday.

The stark prediction comes in a new Unicef report, Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and Covid-19. It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20% increase in the current figure.

As Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably, warned Unicef.

Yemen’s poor health care infrastructure is unprepared to battle the coronavirus pandemic after five years of war between a Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The war, which has mostly stalemated, has also triggered the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The conflict erupted in 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition stepped in on behalf of the internationally recognised government, which the Houthis had forced into exile when they overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north the previous year.

The situation in Yemen is only expected to get worse as donor countries recently cut back on aid. Yemen has officially recorded more than 1,000 cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, including 275 deaths. However, the true tally is believed to be much higher as testing capabilities are severely limited.

Updated at 11.30am BST

10.41am BST

Four British men have been banned from working in Singapore after going on a pub crawl in a breach of coronavirus curbs that sparked fury in the city-state, authorities said.

Singapore has been hit by a serious outbreak with tens of thousands of infections detected in dormitories housing foreign workers.

In April, it imposed a partial lockdown to contain the virus, with people only allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes. Social gatherings were banned.

The Britons, all in their 30s, met at a popular bar and restaurant district in May when restrictions were still in place.

The men went to three bars and drank beer outside for about 45 minutes, local media reported. At the time, customers were allowed to order takeaway alcohol but not drink inside the premises.

Pictures of the group drinking outside circulated widely on social media, with some angrily complaining that foreigners were breaching restrictions at a time Singaporeans were being charged for violations.

Updated at 11.24am BST

10.37am BST

As face coverings become the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese startup Donut Robotics has developed an internet-connected “smart mask”, which can transmit messages and translate from Japanese into eight other languages.

The white plastic “c-mask” fits over standard face masks and connects via Bluetooth to a smartphone and tablet application that can transcribe speech into text messages, make calls or amplify the mask wearer’s voice.

“We worked hard for years to develop a robot and we have used that technology to create a product that responds to how the coronavirus has reshaped society,” said Taisuke Ono, the chief executive of Donut Robotics.

Updated at 11.25am BST

10.36am BST

Swarms of locusts have stripped thousands of hectares of pasture and cropland in Sardinia, devastating farmers already struggling from the coronavirus pandemic, farming groups said.

Their numbers fuelled by rising temperatures, the pests have damaged nearly 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of grazing land in the central province of Nuoro, said Michele Arbau, of the Sardinia branch of Italian agricultural association Coldiretti.

“Farmers have lost the summer pasture and partly the fodder for autumn and winter and the very few people who grew barley had to give that up too,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

During the summer months, locusts are a common phenomenon on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, known for its idyllic beaches and exclusive resorts, but this year’s outbreak has been much larger than normal.

Updated at 11.22am BST

10.10am BST

French authorities carry out 1.3m tests to find ‘hidden clusters’

The French health authorities will carry out 1.3m coronavirus tests in the Île-de-France (greater Paris) region in an experimental scheme aimed at establishing if there are “hidden clusters”.

France’s health minister, Olivier Véran, says the scheme involving residents of 30 districts who have been invited to take a diagnostic virology test, could be extended to the rest of France if it proves useful. The virology tests, as opposed to blood antibody tests, are usually done by taking a swab from the patient’s nose to check for the presence of the virus’s genetic material (RNA) and are considered extremely accurate.

The aim is to test people who have no coronavirus symptoms but are in proximity to identified clusters, so may be transmitting the virus without knowing.

The 1.3m people are to be sent an “invitation” to have a test at any health laboratory in the region.

“The peak (of infections) of March/April is behind us, but we haven’t finished with the virus,” Véran said. “We have to avoid large gatherings and risky behaviour”.

Véran’s comments came after the annual Fête de la Musique last weekend saw crowds in Paris drinking and dancing in close proximity without masks, causing another controversy about people’s sense of responsibility.

However, more than six weeks after the strict two-month lockdown ended and more than three weeks after most restrictions were lifted in the Paris area, the coronavirus figures show no sign of a surge or second wave. The number of patients admitted to hospital with the virus and in intensive care, continues to fall and the number of deaths in the previous 24 hours in French hospitals dropped to +21, bringing the total number of reported deaths from Covid-19 in France to 29,752.

Updated at 10.44am BST

9.48am BST

Indonesia reported 1,240 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the total number of cases to 51,427.

There were 63 more deaths recorded, with total fatalities now at 2,683, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

The death toll from Covid-19 in Indonesia is the highest in east Asia, outside of China.

Updated at 10.02am BST

9.24am BST

Markets showed signs of optimism on Friday, with European shares opening higher and oil prices rising despite a record number of new Covid-19 infections in the United States.

They rose across the US by at least 39,818 on Thursday, the largest one-day increase of the pandemic. The governor of Texas temporarily stopped the state’s reopening on Thursday as infections and hospitalisations surged.

But European shares opened higher, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.8% and London’s FTSE 100 up 1% at 0736 GMT.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was up 0.3%, extending gains from late on Thursday.

“Even though we continue to see some pretty scary virus numbers coming out of the U.S., it’s not really dented sentiment * not to any sustained degree at least,” said Timothy Graf, head of EMEA macro strategy at State Street Global Advisors.

Graf said that recent temporary downward corrections of market optimism have had very little follow-through.

The possibility of a second coronavirus wave and renewed lockdowns has limited market impact because if lockdown measures resume then markets expect this to raise the likelihood of more fiscal support for economies.

“There is a disconnect between what you feel should be the case looking at virus numbers and equities and riskier currencies holding up relatively well and volatility receding, but at the same time we’ve never seen a policy response like this, not in the last 80 years at least,” Graf said.

Having risen between 0500 and 0700 GMT, the dollar fell in early London trading to 97.317 against a basket of currencies by 0745 GMT.

9.15am BST

Vietnam warned Friday the virus pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as south-east Asian leaders met online for a summit also dominated by anxiety over Beijing’s moves in the flashpoint South China Sea.

The chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) also wants to use the summit to inject momentum into talks on a sprawling China-backed trade pact.

The immediate focus for the 10-member bloc is the crippling cost of the coronavirus, which has ravaged the economies of tourism and export-reliant countries such as Thailand and Vietnam.

“It has swept away the successes of recent years … threatening the lives of millions of people,” Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, said in a sobering opening address.

Updated at 9.41am BST

9.08am BST

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Marsh and I am running the global live feed, bringing you the latest updates from around the world. If you want to get in touch to share with me comments, views and news tips then please do via any of the channels below.s

Twitter: @sloumarsh
Instagram: sarah_marsh_journalist
Email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

8.54am BST

Russia on Friday reported 6,800 new coronavirus cases, the first daily rise below 7,000 since late April, taking its nationwide tally to 620,794.

The country’s coronavirus response centre said 176 people died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 8,781.

Updated at 9.38am BST

8.34am BST

British shopping centre firm Intu, whose properties have been ravaged by the coronavirus lockdown, warned on Friday it was likely to collapse after talks failed to restructure its finances.

Intu, which owns shopping malls including MetroCentre and the Trafford Centre in northern England and Lakeside in the south-east, had been seeking to progress talks with creditors ahead of a midnight deadline.

Shopping centres were forced to close for three months after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on 23 March in a bid to halt the Covid-19 outbreak. Restrictions began to be eased this month.

In a statement on Friday, Intu announced that “insufficient alignment and agreement has been achieved” with its creditors.

“The board is therefore considering the position of Intu with a view to protecting the interests of its stakeholders,” it added.

Updated at 9.29am BST

8.24am BST

Activity tracker maker Fitbit Inc said on Friday that young adults in the US are lagging behind older age groups in returning to the same number of steps as before the coronavirus outbreak.

Women and men under 29 years old took fewer steps in June than the same period a year ago, according to data aggregated from Fitbit users, as the novel coronavirus prompted people to stay at home. People over 30 years old were closer to last year’s levels, and women ages 50 years old to 64 years old even took more steps in mid-June than a year ago.

Officials in some states have expressed concern this week that the reopening of restaurants, bars and other businesses could draw young adults, in particular, from their homes and lead to infections among a group so far less affected by the virus. Many infected young people do not exhibit symptoms but may be transmitters.

Updated at 9.30am BST

8.11am BST

British supermarket chain Tesco announced Friday that its first-quarter sales jumped 8%, boosted by rocketing online purchases as people switched to grocery deliveries during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

Total sales surged to .6bn (£13.4bn) in the company’s first quarter – the 13 weeks to the end of May – compared with a year earlier, the nation’s biggest retailer said in a trading update.

The bumper performance came after the government imposed a lockdown on 23 March in a bid to halt the Covid-19 outbreak. Restrictions began to be eased this month.

Online sales soared by a staggering 48.5% in the reporting period as the company ramped up its delivery capability to cope with booming demand from customers staying at home.

The online business saw sales skyrocket by more than 90% in May alone, the company added.

Updated at 9.38am BST

8.00am BST

Britain is working on an a plan to relax its quarantine for international travellers with some countries where there is a lower risk of contracting the novel coronavirus, environment secretary George Eustice said on Friday.

“I know that Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is giving this a lot of consideration so that the quarantine provisions that we have got in place can perhaps start to be relaxed with certain countries where the risk is low,” he told BBC TV.

“I don’t know exactly when further information will be announced but I know that it is something the government is working on,” he said. “I know it is being considered.”

Britain’s Environment Secretary George Eustice attending a remote press conference to update the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on May 19, 2020.
Britain’s Environment Secretary George Eustice attending a remote press conference to update the nation on the COVID-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street in central London on May 19, 2020.
Photograph: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty Images

7.46am BST

Facing ruin as orders from Western brands collapsed in the coronavirus pandemic, many Bangladeshi garment factories have been given a lifeline with orders to make protective masks, gloves and gowns for export.

factory staff going to work
Garment workers return from a workplace as factories reopened after the government has eased the restrictions amid concerns over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Dhaka, Bangladesh, May 4, 2020.
Photograph: Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters

Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of workers who used to work in export-oriented apparel factories in the South Asian country remain jobless despite the new orders and some recovery in Western markets.

At factories in the industrial town of Savar just north of Dhaka, thousands of workers are now working eight-hour shifts, six days a week, making personal protective equipment (PPE).

On the factory floor, sewing machines operated by hundreds of workers whirled loudly beside huge stacks of white and light-blue gowns.

“We saw the opportunity in February and immediately we switched to PPE manufacturing,” said Syed Naved Husain, chief executive of Beximco, a major supplier to the owners of brands like Zara, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Beximco last month exported 6.5 million medical gowns to US brand Hanes and it expects to export some 0 million worth of protective gear this year.

“Now some 60 percent of our 40,000 workers are engaged in PPE making,” he told AFP. “Coronavirus has changed the world.”

Sumaiya Akter and Rubel Miah, who lost their jobs making apparel for Western retailers, were among the workers making final amendments to the robes.

“I feel lucky for getting work in this factory while many others lost jobs and are now facing difficulties,” 34-year-old mother Akhter told AFP.

“At least I can feed my family and parents.”

Updated at 7.59am BST

7.37am BST

Japan’s Covid-19 contact-tracing app has been downloaded more than 4 million times since its launch a week ago as the government seeks to head off a second wave of infections now that businesses and schools have reopened.

Health ministry official Yasuyuki Sahara said while there was no target number for downloads, “we want to make as many people as possible to use this app”.

Apps such as this may be able to halt an epidemic if usage reaches 60% of the population, according to an Oxford University study.
Yuki Furuse, a professor at Kyoto University, said there’s debate about whether usage has to be that high to be effective, but “the more people use the app, the more it would be effective for the outbreak response.”

Japan lifted a state of emergency in late May. It has weathered the epidemic better than most developed countries, with almost 18,000 infections and 969 deaths.

The app, named COCOA for Contact-Confirming Application, was designed by Microsoft Corp and is available for Apple Inc’s iPhone and devices using Google’s Android software.

It uses Bluetooth signals to detect contact with nearby users lasting 15 minutes or more. If a user later tests positive for the virus, their contacts can be traced and notified through the programme.
Numerous countries have rolled out contact-tracing apps, including Australia, Malaysia, Britain, India, Germany and Italy.

Singapore was among the first with its TraceTogether app launched in March, but privacy concerns hampered its uptake, prompting a switch to wearable devices.

The new coronavirus, which was first detected in China in late 2019, has infected more than 9.62 million people globally and 488,467* have died, according to a Reuters tally.

7.28am BST

Some of the headlines this morning:

Brain damage in severe COVID-19

A preliminary study of 125 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 across the United Kingdom has found the disease can damage the brain, causing complications such as stroke, inflammation, psychosis and dementia-like symptoms in some severe cases.

The findings, published in the Lancet Psychiatry journal on Thursday, are the first detailed look at a range of neurological complications of COVID-19, the researchers said, and underline a need for larger studies to find the mechanisms behind them and assist the search for treatments.

The most common brain complication seen was stroke, which was reported in 77 of 125 patients. Of these, most were in patients over 60, and most were caused by a blood clot in the brain, known as an ischaemic stroke.

Opposing travel trends

Both New Zealand and Vietnam have emerged from lockdown virtually virus-free, lifting all restrictions except those on international travel. But while New Zealand’s tourism sector is struggling in the absence of arrivals from abroad, Vietnam’s has rebounded thanks to domestic tourism, according to travel data and industry members.

The difference in part reflects the economic hit to the two economies. While New Zealand’s economy may contract by as much as 20% in the first half of the year, according to the central bank, Vietnam has kept its yearly growth target above 5%.

In New Zealand, scheduled flights are down 40% from the same month last year and weekly demand for Airbnb and Vrbo properties through July are down 55%. In Vietnam, travel agent Nguyen Thi Thuy Anh says he is handling a surge in bookings as businesses slash prices to attract local travellers.

Bubbles within bubbles

Formula One teams will operate in groups of people mostly kept separated from each other when the F1 season starts behind closed doors in Austria next week after being stalled since March.

“The Formula One paddock will be a bubble,” said Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies. “But inside … you will have an individual bubble for each team with pretty much no or minimum interaction between a bubble or a team and another.

“Inside the team bubble, which is inside the F1 bubble, we will also do more bubbles,” added the Frenchman. “So you will have probably the car 16 (Charles Leclerc) bubble and the car 5 (Sebastian Vettel) bubble and inside them probably engineers and mechanics and so forth.”

The separation means anyone who tests positive will have had limited contact with others, with tested stand-ins ready to be slotted in if needed.

7.22am BST

Hello everyone. My name is Sarah Marsh and I am running the global live feed, bringing you the latest updates from around the world. If you want to get in touch to share with me comments, views and news tips then please do via any of the channels below.s

Twitter: @sloumarsh
Instagram: sarah_marsh_journalist
Email: sarah.marsh@theguardian.com

7.11am BST

That’s it from me, Helen Sullivan, for today. My colleague Sarah Marsh is waiting in the wings, ready to take you through the next few hours of pandemic news.

7.03am BST

Summary

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • Cases worldwide passed 9.6 million on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10 million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,609,829. At least 489,312 people have died so far.
  • Australian supermarkets have reintroduced national rationing of essential groceries, after panic buying resumed in some states, provoked by a rise in cases in Victoria. The southern state reported its 10th straight day of new cases in double digits on Friday. Thirty new cases were reported after what premier Daniel Andrews called a “suburban testing blitz” in hotspot suburbs, involving ambulances and mobile test centres. Despite the spike in infections, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said on Friday he would stick with plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions.
  • Swedes are losing trust in authorities’ handling of the coronavirus, as the man behind the country’s light-touch approach called lockdowns a form of madness and political parties demanded the Swedish strategy be reviewed before the next election in 2022.
  • Jubilant Liverpool supporters spent Thursday night celebrating the team’s first league title for 30 years, prompting warnings from police concerned about mass gatherings flouting social-distancing rules. As a huge crowd sang songs and let off flares outside Anfield, Merseyside police Asst Chief Cons Rob Carden said the region had been “disproportionately affected” by the coronavirus pandemic and its residents had a responsibility to prevent further cases.
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he might have contracted coronavirus previously and he may do another test for the disease, having already tested negative for the virus multiple times weeks earlier. On Thursday Brazil confirmed 39,483 new cases. Brazil now has 1,228,114 known coronavirus infections. The death toll is nearing 55,000, with the current fatalities at 54,971, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
  • China reported 13 new cases, 11 in Beijing. China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases. Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control. The other two cases were brought by Chinese travelers from overseas, according to the National Health Council.
  • South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing. South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.
  • US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.The CDC’s new estimate that for every diagnosis of coronavirus in the US it is likely that 10 more people are or have been infected is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease, the officials said.
  • Mike Pence to hold coronavirus task force briefing as cases rise in 27 states. The US Vice President will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning, the first in weeks.
  • Florida reported more than 5,000 new cases. For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.In total, the state has reported more than 114,000 confirmed cases and at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.
  • Mexico’s finance minister, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, tested positive for coronavirus but is experiencing only “minor” symptoms. Mexico pushed past 25,000 reported coronavirus deaths and 200,000 confirmed cases Thursday.
  • Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’. Fewer than one in a hundred children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.
  • UK health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said on TalkRadio that he had the power to close the beaches if people did not respect social-distancing rules.He said he was “reluctant” to go down that route as “people have had a pretty tough lockdown”. But he added that if there was a spike in the number of coronavirus cases “then we will take action”.
  • New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19. Like all of the country’s current active cases it was diagnosed during the routine testing of quarantined travellers. After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

Updated at 7.06am BST

6.59am BST

Cases worldwide pass 9.6 million

Cases worldwide passed 9.6 million on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10 million by the end of the week.

The current total stands at 9,609,829. At least 489,312 people have died so far.

6.54am BST

The Hill reports that 18 members of one Texas family have tested positive for coronavirus some attended a birthday party at which one family member was infected.

The infections began after one relative, who was unknowingly sick with coronavirus, came into contact with seven family members at a birthday party in Carrollton, Texas, on May 30, according to area outlet WFAA. Those seven relatives spread the virus to 10 others through interactions.

Ron Barbosa told the outlet that his nephew hosted the party for his daughter-in-law. He said that his nephew believed a slight cough was attributable to his job in construction.

“It wasn’t that long. It was only a couple of hours,” Barbosa said. “But during that brief time, somehow the other 18 family members are now infected with Covid.”

Some of the men in the family also went golfing together earlier in the day, BuzzFeed News reported.

The infected group includes two young children and Barbosa’s parents, who are both in their 80s, as well as Barbosa’s sister, who is battling breast cancer.

6.49am BST

Vietnam on Friday warned the virus pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as Southeast Asian leaders met online for a summit that will also be dominated by anxiety over Beijing’s moves in the flashpoint South China Sea.

The current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also wants to use the summit to inject momentum into talks on a sprawling China-backed trade pact, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of The 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, 26 June 2020.
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of The 36th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, 26 June 2020.
Photograph: Minh Hoang/EPA

A deal, which aimed to loop in half the world’s population and third of its GDP, has been hampered by India’s refusal to join over access to its market for cheap goods from China, the regional superpower it is now locked in a deadly border row with.

The immediate focus for the 10-member bloc is the crippling cost of the coronavirus, which has ravaged the economies of tourism and export-reliant countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. A special ASEAN meeting convened in April to tackle the pandemic failed to agree on an emergency fund.

The country’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave a sobering opening address on Friday that emphasised the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among ASEAN’S members.

“It has swept away the successes of recent years… threatening the lives of millions of people,” he said.

6.40am BST

Global report: rationing returns to Australia as panic buying spreads

Australian supermarkets have reintroduced national rationing of essential groceries after panic buying resumed in some states, provoked by a rise in cases in Victoria.

The southern state reported its 10th straight day of new cases in double digits on Friday. Thirty new cases were reported after what premier Daniel Andrews called a “suburban testing blitz” in hotspot suburbs, involving ambulances and mobile test centres.

In response to panic buying, which earlier in the pandemic saw shelves emptied of toilet paper, pasta, disinfectant and other staples, the Woolworths grocery store chain announced it would reintroduce countrywide buying limits on toilet paper.

Woolworths initially brought in limits in Victoria alone on Wednesday. Customers were restricted to just two items of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long-life milk, eggs and rice. Coles, another supermarket chain, also brought in limits on buying hand sanitiser, flour, eggs, other groceries and toilet paper.

Despite the spike in infections, Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said on Friday he would stick with plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions. “There will be outbreaks and what matters is that we continue to build our capability to deal with those outbreaks,” Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra.

Meanwhile, new cases continue to surge above 30,000 a day in Brazil and the United States. Brazil confirmed 39,483 coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the national total to 1,228,114 known infections. The number of deaths in the country is nearing 55,000, with 54,971 fatalities confirmed.

6.30am BST

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Thursday suggested the tradition of women staying at home to take care of older family members was key to battling the coronavirus pandemic, sparking criticism his comments were sexist.

This is not the first time the 66-year-old leader has been accused of making tone-deaf comments and lacking empathy towards women.
“People want to change women’s role and that is one of the just causes of feminism, but the tradition in Mexico is that daughters are the ones who care the most for parents. We men are more detached,” Lopez Obrador said.

Whereas seniors in nursing homes in Europe had suffered with the pandemic, Mexico’s elders were helped by the custom of being cared for at home, he said, adding that the “Mexican family is the most important social security institution” in the country.

“Translating the president’s 19th century thinking when he says: men are more detached, he means irresponsible; daughters take care of their parents, he’s referring to unpaid work; tradition refers to machismo; feminism wants to change roles, true transformation,” Martha Tagle, a lawmaker with the Citizen’s Movement party, said on Twitter.

The hashtag AmloMachista, or sexist AMLO in reference to the president’s initials, was trending.

Updated at 9.26am BST

6.17am BST

Liverpool fans jubilant after Premier League title win as police warn of Covid-19 risks

Football fans celebrate at Anfield Stadium as Liverpool FC win the Premier League title after Chelsea beat Manchester City.
Football fans celebrate at Anfield Stadium as Liverpool FC win the Premier League title after Chelsea beat Manchester City.
Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Thousands of jubilant Liverpool supporters have spent the night celebrating the team’s first league title for 30 years, prompting warnings from police concerned about mass gatherings flouting social-distancing rules.

As a huge crowd sang songs and let off flares outside Anfield, Merseyside police Asst Chief Cons Rob Carden said the region had been “disproportionately affected” by the coronavirus pandemic and its residents had a responsibility to prevent further cases.

5.53am BST

Australia will stick with plans to further ease curbs, says PM

Australia will stick with plans to further ease coronavirus curbs, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, said on Friday, despite a spike in infections in the second most populous state of Victoria.

“There will be outbreaks and what matters is that we continue to build our capability to deal with those outbreaks,” Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra, the capital.

Australia deployed ambulances and mobile test centres in a testing blitz across the southeastern state after a renewed outbreak of the respiratory disease there.

On Friday, the state reported its 10th straight day of new cases in double digits.

Updated at 9.23am BST

5.35am BST

Swedes rapidly losing trust in Covid-19 strategy, poll finds

Swedes are losing trust in authorities’ handling of the coronavirus, as the man behind the country’s light-touch approach called lockdowns a form of madness and political parties demanded the Swedish strategy be reviewed before the next election in 2022.

An Ipsos survey this week for the Dagens Nyheter newspaper showed confidence in the country’s management of Covid-19 had fallen 11 points to 45% since April, with backing for the national public health agency down 12 points.

The proportion of respondents satisfied with the centre-left government’s actions in the pandemic also fell to 38% in June from 50% the previous month, while the personal approval rating of the prime minister, Stefan Löfven, also slid 10 points.

5.07am BST

Australian supermarket chain to reintroduce toilet paper purchase limit nationally

Australia’s Woolworths grocery store chain has just announced it will reintroduce countrywide buying limits on toilet paper, as panic buying resumes in some Australian states seemingly in the face of increased infections in the state of Victoria.

There are currently no other product limits other than toilet paper and paper towel outside of Victoria. On Wednesday, Woolworths reinstated a purchase limit of two items in Victoria on toilet paper, hand sanitiser, paper towel, flour, sugar, pasta, mince, long-life milk, eggs and rice.

The supermarket chain released this statement:

Woolworths will this afternoon reinstate a two-pack limit on toilet paper and paper towel in all Australian stores following a recent surge in demand across different parts of the country.

The precautionary move is designed to support appropriate social distancing in stores over the weekend and ensure all customers have access to the products they need …

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said: “We’ve regrettably started to see elevated demand for toilet roll move outside Victoria in the past 24 hours.

“While the demand is not at the same level as Victoria, we’re taking preventative action now to get ahead of any excessive buying this weekend and help maintain social distancing in our stores.

“We have ordered more than 650,000 additional packs of toilet roll into our network, which is an increase of more than 30% on our usual volumes.”

4.36am BST

Summary

Here are the key developments from the last few hours:

  • Cases worldwide were nearing 9.6 million on Friday, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10 million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,586,769. At least 488,740 people have died so far.
  • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he might have contracted coronavirus previously and he may do another test for the disease, having already tested negative for the virus multiple times weeks earlier. On Thursday Brazil confirmed 39,483 new cases. Brazil now has 1,228,114 known coronavirus infections. The death toll is nearing 55,000, with the current fatalities at 54,971, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
  • China reported 13 new cases, 11 in Beijing. China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases. Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control. The other two cases were brought by Chinese travelers from overseas, according to the National Health Council.
  • South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing. South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.
  • US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.The CDC’s new estimate that for every diagnosis of coronavirus in the US it is likely that 10 more people are or have been infected is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease, the officials said.
  • Mike Pence to hold coronavirus task force briefing as cases rise in 27 states. The US Vice President will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning.
  • Florida reported more than 5,000 new cases. For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.In total, the state has reported more than 114,000 confirmed cases and at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.
  • Mexico’s finance minister, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, tested positive for coronavirus but is experiencing only “minor” symptoms. Mexico pushed past 25,000 reported coronavirus deaths and 200,000 confirmed cases Thursday.
  • Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’. Fewer than one in a hundred children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.
  • UK health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said on TalkRadio that he had the power to close the beaches if people did not respect social-distancing rules.He said he was “reluctant” to go down that route as “people have had a pretty tough lockdown”. But he added that if there was a spike in the number of coronavirus cases “then we will take action”.
  • New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19. Like all of the country’s current active cases it was diagnosed during the routine testing of quarantined travellers. After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

Updated at 4.47am BST

4.17am BST

South Korea reports 39 new cases

South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

South Korea was considered an anti-virus success story after containing an outbreak during February and March surrounding the southeastern city of Daegu. However, the country has been seeing an uptick in new infections since authorities moved to ease social distancing guidelines and reopen schools starting in May.

The update from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday brought national totals to 12,602 cases, including 282 deaths. Twelve of the new cases were linked to international arrivals.

Medical staff in protective gear work at a ‘drive-thru’ coronavirus testing centre in Yeungnam University Medical Centre in Daegu, South Korea, 3 March 2020.
Medical staff in protective gear work at a ‘drive-thru’ coronavirus testing centre in Yeungnam University Medical Centre in Daegu, South Korea, 3 March 2020.
Photograph: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters

Updated at 4.20am BST

4.10am BST

China reports 13 new cases, 11 in Beijing

China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases.

Eleven were in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control. The other two cases were brought by Chinese travelers from overseas, according to the National Health Council.

No new deaths were reported and 389 people remained in treatment for Covid-19, with another 107 in isolation. Case numbers both nationally and in Beijing were down from Thursday. China has reported 4,634 Covid-19 deaths from 83,462 total cases.

Medical workers prepare to work at nucleic acid testing kiosks on 25 June 2020 in Beijing, China.
Medical workers prepare to work at nucleic acid testing kiosks on 25 June 2020 in Beijing, China.
Photograph: China News Service/Getty Images

This month’s outbreak in Beijing has seen 260 people infected, most of them with links to the city’s biggest wholesale market, leading authorities to lock down some communities and cancel classes.

Since then, 3 million test samples have been taken from 2.43 million people in the city.

New regulations on managing risks to prevent additional outbreaks issued by China’s Cabinet, the State Council, include a demand that unreasonable restrictions beyond regular prevention and control measures in localities should be immediately corrected.

It warned that measures that cause “vile influence” will be exposed in the media, the regulations state.

3.57am BST

Virgin Australia’s administrators say they will ask creditors to approve the sale of the stricken airline to US private equity group Bain Capital at a meeting in August.

The administrators, partners at accounting firm Deloitte, said they signed a deal with Bain on Friday morning that would retain thousands of jobs and recapitalise the airline.

However, neither Deloitte nor Bain would say how much Bain would pay, how many jobs would be kept by the new Virgin Australia or how much creditors owed .8bn would receive.

The move came after rival bidder Cyrus Capital Partners dramatically quit the race on Friday morning, blasting the administrators for failing to engage with it and return phone calls.

3.35am BST

Meanwhile in Australia, buying of toilet paper has started again in Sydney, despite no sharp increase in cases, Channel 9 reports:

Maybe people are trying to get their dogs’ TikTok careers off the ground?

<iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="

@kelly_bove

Trek wanted to “hop” onto the level up challenge 😉 ##levelupchallenge ##tiktokdogs ##dog ##foryoupage ##foryou ##fyp ##toiletpaperchallenge

♬ Level Up – Ciara

“>

<iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="

@azchpn

どちらが勝つかな❓👑Which is the winner? ##tikdog ##levelupchallenge ##fyp ##dog ##dogsoftiktok ##foryourpage ##犬 ##トイプードル ##チワワ

♬ Level Up – Ciara

“>

Or their cats’

<iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="

@caeharrington

Cat Olympics in Quarantine 🐱 ##cats ##catsoftiktok ##animals ##kitty ##catchallenge ##levelup ##levelupchallenge

♬ Level Up – Ciara

“>

Or their own:

<iframe class="fenced" srcdoc="

@annaclaydon

Got some time on my hands now the kids are back at school… ##boredathome ##athome ##selfdistancing ##toiletpaper ##toiletpaperchallenge ##comedy ##funny

♬ Only Time – Enya

“>

3.27am BST

Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.

3.26am BST

This is another tried and true Trump talking point, as he seeks to discourage mail-in voting and undermine its results, sowing doubt about the fairness of the 2020 Presidential election:

As my colleague Sam Levine reported this week:

In a tweet on Monday, Trump pointed to the fact that Americans have voted during times of war to suggest that Covid-19 was merely being used as an excuse to “cheat”. But members of the military have long voted by mail and there is a long history of expanding access to the ballot because of war, Alexander Keyssar, a historian who has studied elections, told NBC News in April.

Trump has continued to attack voting by mail even though he and other members of his administration have frequently used it. On Monday, Business Insider reported that the vice-president, Mike Pence, and his wife, Karen, voted in the Indiana primary this month using the Indiana governor’s mansion as their address. Pence had done the same in 2018.

3.17am BST

3.09am BST

US President Donald Trump is holding a town hall on Fox news at the moment, where he has again claimed that cases in the US are high because the US is testing widely.

While, naturally, the number of confirmed cases in any country will depend on testing (because you can’t confirm a case without a positive test result), Germany and the US are testing roughly in the same bracket (though Germany’s figure is lower) in terms of tests per 1,000 people, according to Our World in data, which is run by Oxford University.

The US population (328.2m) is much higher than Germany’s (83m) – and Trump’s argument is that this is why there are more cases – but this idea seems to rely on the extremely flawed logic that any given country will have a certain percentage of its population infected with the virus – and, therefore, that decisions taken by leadership in that country don’t really matter (though in other instances Trump will of course claim that his leadership in this pandemic has meant cases aren’t as bad as they could have been).

But in the US, 8.2% of tests are returned positive, while in Germany that figure is 3.5% – which appears to indicate that a greater percentage of people in the US are infected.

The confirmed cases per million people in the US are 7,194.39 versus 2,292.55 in Germany.

Furthermore, when it comes to people dying – the percentage of your population that dies is of course far less important than the number of people – the loved ones they leave behind are unlikely to care much whether that person was equivalent to a percentage figure.

In the US, 124,355 people have died so far. In Germany, 8,940 people have died.

3.05am BST

Another PNG defence force member tests positive

Another member of PNG’s defence force has tested positive for coronavirus, only the country’s 11th case, but the third in just over a week which can be traced to Port Moresby’s Murray Barracks.

The PNG government is considering imposing new restrictions on the PNG capital, concerned by new community transmission of the virus.

The ninth case in the country was detected at the end of last week, an Australian defence force officer who had been in PNG since January. That officer has since been repatriated to Australia.

The 10th case, of a 27-year-old soldier, came earlier this week as a result of mass testing of staff at the barracks.

The latest case is a 26-year-old woman, who is being monitored by health workers in isolation at a sports centre which has been converted into a Covid-19 treatment facility.

PNG’s national pandemic response controller, the country’s police commissioner, David Manning said he was considering whether new movement restrictions were necessary in Port Moresby, following two new cases in 48 hours. PNG lifted its state of emergency last week.

Manning had said previously that the new cases in the capital were “evidence of local transmission in Port Moresby and the risk is very high that more cases may be identified in the coming days”.

“The identification of this case provides Papua New Guineans need to take responsibility and remain vigilant to stop the chain of transmission,” Manning said.

“The country needs to work together to apply the ‘Niupela Pasin’ or the ‘new normal’. This will involve changing our old ways of doing things and replacing them with behaviours and actions to reduce the risk of getting infection.”

2.44am BST

Mexico deaths pass 25,000

Mexico pushed past 25,000 reported coronavirus deaths and 200,000 confirmed cases Thursday, as the treasury secretary said he tested positive and would self-isolate while working from home, AP reports.

The Health Department reported 6,104 newly confirmed infections, one of the highest 24-hour counts so far. That brought the country’s confirmed cases to 202,951. Deaths increased by 736, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 25,060. Only Brazil and the United States have higher death tolls in the Americas.

Treasury Secretary Arturo Herrera said he had only minor symptoms and planned to self-isolate as he continued to work from home. It was unclear how recently he was in close contact with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who refuses to use a face mask and has resumed public tours across Mexico.

Herrera is the countrys highest-ranking Cabinet member to be infected so far. Previously, the head of the Mexican Social Security Institute tested positive but later returned to work. Several state governors have also acknowledged testing positive.

2.37am BST

New Zealand confirms one new case among quarantined travellers

Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian from Wellington:

New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19 today; like all of the country’s current active cases it was diagnosed during the routine testing of quarantined travellers.

After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

There are 14 active cases in the country, all of them people who were diagnosed at the hotels where everyone entering New Zealand must spend a fortnight in government-managed isolation. They are tested twice during their stay.

The latest case, announced by health officials this afternoon, is a man in his 30s who arrived from Kenya via Doha and Brisbane on 21 June.

A total of 1,170 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported in New Zealand, with 22 deaths. The comparatively low figures are widely attributed to a swift, strict lockdown when the pandemic arrived on New Zealand’s shores.

2.23am BST

Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian from Wellington:

It was a case of “plenty of room at the inn” for a hotel in a New Zealand ski resort town during the country’s strictest weeks of Covid-19 lockdown, with eight babies born there due to a lack of local maternity facilities.

The hotel, the Ramada at Remarkables Park in Queenstown, accommodated parents, babies and their midwives free of charge while the births happened, according to the website Stuff.

After two nurses tested positive for Covid-19 at a local hospital, maternity services for the area were moved to a local dental clinic – but it didn’t have a shower, Stuff reported. Midwives approached the hotel about becoming a temporary birthing unit instead.

“It’s the Kiwi attitude – let’s muck in and come up with an alternative,” said Sharon White, a midwife.

The eight families, newborn babies, and hotel staff attended a reunion at the four-star hotel last week.

2.10am BST

UK health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches

Steven Morris, Helen Pidd and Archie Bland report:

A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast.

The local authority, BCP council – covering Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – said it was forced to instigate a multi-agency emergency response to tackle issues ranging from overcrowding on the beaches, traffic gridlock and violence. Security guards had to be used to protect refuse collection teams.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said on TalkRadio that he had the power to close the beaches if people did not respect social-distancing rules.

He said he was “reluctant” to go down that route as “people have had a pretty tough lockdown”. But he added that if there was a spike in the number of coronavirus cases “then we will take action”.

1.54am BST

Mike Pence to hold coronavirus task force briefing as cases rise in 27 states

CNN reports that US Vice President Mike Pence will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning, as cases surge in the US.

Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week, as four of the last five days saw more than 30,000 new cases confirmed per day, according to the Oxford University-run Our World In Data.

California has seen a 69% rise in coronavirus cases in just two days, Gavin Newsom, the governor, said on Wednesday, as the state continues to battle a surge of new infections and hospitalisations.

On Thursday, Florida reported more than 5,000 new cases for the second consecutive day. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, and is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day. In total, the state has reported more than 114,000 confirmed cases and at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.

Updated at 2.29am BST

1.42am BST

Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’

Fewer than one in a hundred children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.

AFP reports that a team of researchers led by experts in Britain, Austria and Spain looked at the outcomes of nearly 600 children under 18 infected with the novel coronavirus and found that only a quarter had pre-existing medical conditions.

This is in sharp contrast to adults, among whom the vast majority of patients have underlying health problems.

The team found that more than 60% of Covid-19 positive children required hospital treatment, and that 8% needed intensive care. Of the 582 children studied, just four died. On the other hand, more than 90 children, or 16%, showed no symptoms at all.

Marc Tebruegge, from University College London’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said that while the results shouldn’t be extrapolated for the general population, they were nevertheless reassuring.

“The case fatality cohort was very low and it is likely to be substantially lower still, given many children with mild disease would not have been brought to medical attention and therefore not included in this study,” he said.

“Overall, the vast majority of children and young people experience only mild disease,” added Tebruegge, lead author of the study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

“Nevertheless a notable number of children do develop severe disease and require intensive care support, and this should be accounted for when planning and prioritising healthcare resources as the pandemic progresses.”

1.27am BST

Denmark’s prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, thought she had finally found a date for her wedding, but has now had to postpone it for a third time due to an EU summit, she said on Thursday. Many a wedding plan has been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems not even world leaders are immune, AFP reports.

“I am really looking forward to marrying this fantastic man,” Frederiksen wrote in a Facebook post alongside a photo of herself and her fiance, Bo Tengberg.

“But obviously it can’t be that easy, and now there is a council meeting in Brussels called, exactly on that Saturday in July when we had planned to marry,” she wrote.

The extraordinary European Council meeting on 17-18 July, which will be held in Brussels in the presence of the 27 heads of the member states, was decided last week at a virtual meeting. It will be the first summit where the leaders will be physically present since the coronavirus lockdown began months ago.

During the meeting leaders are set to discuss a recovery plan in response to the Covid-19 crisis and a new EU budget.

1.12am BST

Texas pauses next phase of reopening

As US states reopen, the administration says it is up to governors and local officials to determine how to respond to the spikes.

Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott, for example, put a hold on any further steps to reopen and reimposed a ban on elective surgeries in some areas to preserve hospital space after the number of patients statewide more than doubled in two weeks.

Texas confirmed a record 5,996 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, just one day after beating its previous record with Wednesday’s 5,551 cases.

1.00am BST

Brazil confirms 39,483 new cases as Bolsonaro says he may have had Covid-19

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that he might have contracted the novel coronavirus previously and he may do another test for the disease, having already tested negative for the virus multiple times weeks earlier.

A man walks next to graffiti depicting a cleaner wearing protective gear spraying a virus with the face of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 12 June 2020.
A man walks next to graffiti depicting a cleaner wearing protective gear spraying a virus with the face of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 12 June 2020.
Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Bolsonaro had said he tested negative twice but fought a court battle to stop the release of the hospital test results, raising questions over whether he may have been infected or not.

On Thursday Brazil confirmed 39,483 new cases. Brazil now has 1,228,114 known coronavirus infections. The death toll is nearing 55,000, with the current fatalities at 54,971, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

12.46am BST

Mexico treasury secretary tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico’s treasury secretary said Thursday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate while working from home, AP reports.

Arturo Herrera said he had only minor symptoms. It was unclear how recently he was in close contact with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who refuses to use a face mask and has resumed public tours across Mexico.

People walk outside a market known as La Merced as the coronavirus outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico 25 June 2020.
People walk outside a market known as La Merced as the coronavirus outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico 25 June 2020.
Photograph: Henry Romero/Reuters

Herrera is the country’s highest-ranking Cabinet member to be infected so far. Previously, the head of the Mexican Social Security Institute tested positive but later returned to work. Several state governors have also acknowledged testing positive.

Mexico currently has about 196,847 confirmed coronavirus cases and has reported over 24,300 deaths. Those numbers continue to rise at near-record rates.

Updated at 12.46am BST

12.37am BST

CDC believes more than 20m Americans may have had coronavirus

Joanna Walters reports for the Guardian from New York, with Mario Koran in Oakland:

The news that US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus came as Texas, one of the most populous US states, has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases and the governor on Thursday announced that he would have to pause the next phases in what has been a rapid reopening of business. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.

The CDC’s new estimate that for every diagnosis of coronavirus in the US it is likely that 10 more people are or have been infected is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease, the officials said.

The officials, speaking to a small group of reporters on Wednesday night, said the estimate was based on the number of known cases, currently nearing 2.4m in the US, multiplied by the average rate of antibodies seen from the serology tests, about an average of 10 to one.

12.32am BST

Summary

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

I’m Helen Sullivan and I’ll be bringing you the latest developments from around the world for the next few hours. You’re welcome to send news and tips from your part of the world, comments, questions or suggestions to me on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email: helen.sullivan@theguardian.com.

US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus – 10 times more than official counts, as cases are now rising in more than half of states and a new warning came of the risk of “apocalyptic” infection in major cities.

My colleagues Joanna Walters and Mario Koran report that the new estimated numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that many people without symptoms have or have had the disease, senior administration officials said on Thursday.

Here are the latest developments from the last few hours:

  • Cases worldwide passed 9.5 million on Thursday, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10 million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,523,858. At least 484,880 people have died so far.
  • Brazil confirmed 39,483 new cases. Brazil now has 1,228,114 confirmed cases. The death toll is nearing 55,000, with 54,971 fatalities currently confirmed.
  • Florida reports more than 5,000 new cases. For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.In total, the state has reported more than 114,000 confirmed cases and at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths.
  • Mexico’s finance minister, Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, has announced he has tested positive for coronavirus but is experiencing only “minor” symptoms.
  • Cases continue to surge in the Americas, with Texas announcing it is halting its reopening after an alarming rise in infections and hospitalisations. US government experts have said they believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official counts. Mexico confirmed its second-highest daily coronavirus death toll so far, with 947 fatalities on Wednesday.
  • Europe has seen a surge of Covid-19 cases since countries began easing restrictions, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, has told reporters. “Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” he said, adding that more than two dozen countries in Europe had recorded resurgences of the deadly virus.
  • In Portugal, several parts of Greater Lisbon will have to go back into lockdown from next week as Portuguese authorities deal with a worrying wave of coronavirus on the city’s outskirts.
  • Israel is also experiencing an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, which has prompted the government to approve the reimposing of a controversial tracking system administered by the country’s domestic security agency, the Shin Bet.
  • The decline in the number of people in England estimated to have Covid-19 has levelled off, new figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest. The body said the percentage testing positive has “clearly decreased over time” since the first measurement on 26 April and that “this downward trend has now flattened”.
  • The World Health Organization has warned that hospitals are facing a shortage in oxygen concentrators, which are needed to support the breathing of Covid-19 patients suffering from respiratory distress, as 1m new cases of coronavirus are confirmed worldwide per week.
  • Volunteers in the UK, Brazil and South Africa received their first doses of an experimental vaccine as part of a human trial run by Oxford University.
  • China reported 19 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control. Of the new cases it reported on Thursday, 13 were in Beijing and one in the neighbouring province of Hebei. Officials say the other five were brought by Chinese travellers from outside the country. No new deaths were reported.

Updated at 12.46am BST

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