Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world

By Helen Regan, Jenni Marsh and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 3:35 p.m. ET, June 21, 2020
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11:01 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

More than 3,000 new Covid-19 cases reported in Florida on Sunday

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

The Florida Department of Health has reported 3,494 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the state total to 97,291, according to new data. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said cases are "shifting in a radical direction" toward populations in their 20s and 30s.

On Saturday, one day prior, reported cases were the highest for a single day in the state with 4,049, according to to the Florida Department of Health. 

10:27 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Ongoing issues with Covid-19 test is "not a joke," expert says 

From CNN's Wes Bruer


Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, says that President Trump’s comments on slowing down Covid-19 testing is very consistent with the White House’s policy in managing the virus, despite the administration’s claims the comments were a “joke.”

“This is incredibly frustrating for the millions of Americans who have gotten sick and have not been able to get tests. It’s got to be incredibly frustrating for people who’ve lost families in nursing homes, because we haven’t been able to test nursing home residents and workers, or meatpacking plant workers. This is unfortunately not a joke,” Jha told CNN on Sunday.

Jha said that the US death toll of more than 100,000 is largely due to the lack of Covid-19 testing infrastructure.

On Saturday: Trump, speaking at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said that when you increase testing for Covid-19, you find more cases.

“So I said to my people, slow down the testing, please,” Trump told the crowd.

After Trump made the comment, an administration official told CNN that the president was “obviously kidding” when he said that he asked for a slowdown in coronavirus testing.

Trump’s comments, Jha pointed out, come as many parts of the country are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases.

“We have to remember, we are [in the] early days of this pandemic. Not only is it not fading out — this will be with us for at least another 12 months, and that’s the most optimistic scenario for having a vaccine,” Jha said. 

10:06 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Trump rally in Tulsa could be a "super spreader event," ER doctor warns

From CNN's Wes Bruer


Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and associate professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, said there are concerns that President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday could be a “super spreader event.”

“I know the arena was only about a third full last night, but unfortunately that did not seem to be because of social distancing. As you showed, those folks were packed together,” Ranney told CNN today.

Ranney pointed to the six Trump campaign staffers who reportedly tested positive for Covid-19 prior to the rally, and said that it is likely we will see new cases arise from attendees.

“If there were even a couple of cases in the arena last night, we’re most likely going to see a spread among folks that attended. And then they’re going to go back to their states and it’s going to spread further,” Ranney warned.

9:16 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

CDC will make an updated recommendation on masks "soon," senior agency official says

From CNN’s Nick Valencia

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been conducting a scientific review about the public health benefits of masks, and will soon make an updated recommendation, a senior CDC official told CNN.

The reviews are happening even though the CDC has already published guidance on its website.

A senior official with knowledge of the review said science is being studied as to whether masks are not only “good for source control — and keeping you from giving it to others — but we’re also seeing if masks are going to protect you from getting [Covid-19] yourself.”

“We know it’s a good thing to wear a mask to protect others. We are studying if it is also potentially going to keep you safe,” the official added.

The CDC website has two separate pages of guidance on face coverings. One recommends people wear masks when they leave their home. The other recommends people wear a mask if they cannot properly social distance.

An official at the agency says recommendations from a final scientific review by its incident management “will happen soon.”

9:58 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

More than 5,000 new coronavirus cases reported in a single day in Chile

From CNN's Elizabeth Wells and Helena DeMoura

A medical team cares for a coronavirus patient at the Military Hospital in Santiago, Chile, on June 18.
A medical team cares for a coronavirus patient at the Military Hospital in Santiago, Chile, on June 18. Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images

Chilean health officials announced 5,355 new cases of coronavirus in Chile and 202 new deaths over the last 24 hours.

This brings the total number of coronavirus cases to 236,748 and the death toll to 4,295, the officials said during a news conference Sunday.

Chile is currently the third country in Latin America with the highest number of cases after Brazil and Peru, and ranks ninth globally, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The country’s chief epidemiologist Rafael Araos said there are other people who might have also died from the virus.

"In relation to those who died due to Covid without laboratory confirmation, that is, deaths in which Covid is a possible or probable cause, the number rises by 3,069," he said.

This number of “probable” deaths from coronavirus is not included in the country’s death toll.

8:00 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

It's 1 p.m. in London and 8 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 8.8 million people worldwide and killed more than 464,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. Here's what you need to know about coronavirus:

Trump says he wanted Covid-19 testing slowed: In a shocking admission during his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally on Saturday, President Donald Trump said he had told officials to slow down coronavirus testing because of the rising number of cases in America.

Six Trump campaign staff test positive for Covid-19 in Tulsa: The Trump campaign confirmed that the staffers had contracted the disease. The group were working on the US President's Tulsa rally on Saturday night.

India's Modi says yoga can help the world beat the virus: "Yoga helps us boost our strength and build the immunity and metabolism to defeat the pandemic," the Indian Prime Minister said.

China records 26 new cases: 22 of the cases were detected in the capital Beijing, according to the National Health Commission. All cases were considered local transmission, except for one person in Fujian who is reported to be an imported case.

UK on track to further ease lockdown: Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the British government would soon outline plans to relax restrictions.

South Korea limits visas to Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens: The country's health minister said arrivals from the two countries accounted for a high percentage of confirmed coronavirus cases.

7:31 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

South Korea to limit visas to Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens due to coronavirus cases

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo

South Korea will limit visas issued to Pakistani and Bangladeshi citizens from June 23 as the countries’ citizens account for a high percentage of arrivals with confirmed coronavirus cases, Health Minister Park Neunghoo announced Sunday.

Some exceptions, including those for diplomats and essential business personnel, will be made.

All arrivals in South Korea are required to be tested and quarantine for two weeks, but Park said an increased number of confirmed cases in arrivals had become excessively burdensome to the country's national health system.

The minister announced several other steps to help mitigate the issue, including a stricter waiver system, stronger visa management for arrivals, and a reduced number of flights operating to countries with high numbers of Covid-19 cases.

South Korea reported 48 new cases from Saturday, of which 40 were locally transmitted, bringing the total confirmed cases to 12,421.

6:24 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

UK “on track” to further ease lockdown measures, says Health Secretary Hancock 

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite and Nada Bashir

The United Kingdom is “on track” to further ease its nationwide lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday, adding that the government would soon outline a more detailed plan to lift the restrictions.

“You can see the direction that we’re going. We set the direction out in the plan that we published last month, and we are clearly on track for that plan because the number of cases is coming down,” Hancock told Sky's Sophy Ridge.
"On Friday the scientists were able to advise that the alert level come down, so we are on plan,” he added.

On Friday, Britain's Chief Medical Officers announced that the coronavirus alert level had been lowered from level four, which indicates that the level of transmission is high or rising, to level three, indicating that Covid-19 remains in general circulation.

Hancock said the government would soon set out the details of its plans to further ease the lockdown, including new protective measures such as wearing face masks in public spaces. 

“We will of course be setting out more details of that plan and in the plan, it states that on around July 4, we will take further measures if it is safe to do so,” he said. 

“The plan does refer to hospitality and some of the other things that are closed that so many people want to see open."

The UK government has come under sharp criticism from opposition figures and health experts over its reopening strategy. Earlier this week officials abandoned plans to develop a coronavirus tracing app from scratch and decided to instead build a new app based on a system created by Google and Apple.

The government began easing lockdown restrictions in England from 1 June but the new guidelines have left some confused. Relatives still can't spend time inside others' homes, but people can visit outdoor attractions, retail stores and places of worship.

Britain has recorded 304,580 cases of the disease and 42,674 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

6:07 a.m. ET, June 21, 2020

Russia reopens ahead of Victory Day and Putin referendum -- but coronavirus threat remains

From CNN's Mary Ilyushina

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in Moscow on June 12.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a ceremony in Moscow on June 12.  Mikhail Klimentyev / SPUTNIK / AFP via Getty Images

Next Wednesday marks a major event for Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin will preside over a rescheduled Victory Day parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

And Moscow is reopening just in time for the festivities. The last set of lockdown restrictions on gyms and restaurants will be lifted Monday, a week earlier than originally planned by the mayor and just in time for the big military parade in Red Square. The festivities are all part of the run-up to another big event for Putin: a nationwide vote on amendments to the country's constitution, scheduled for July 1.

It's a return to normality for Russians exhausted by lockdown and economic uncertainty. But coronavirus has left a cloud of uncertainty over the festivities, which were postponed amid pandemic fears.

By tradition, World War II veterans occupy the viewing stand next to Putin as thousands of soldiers march across Red Square. But this year, those veterans are quarantined at a health resort outside of Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has asked residents to watch the event on TV, saying attendance will be limited.

And while Moscow is still going ahead with the parade, other cities have curbed their enthusiasm for the celebration amid coronavirus fears.

Read more here.