July 12 coronavirus news

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9:47 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Thousands protest government handling of coronavirus in Tel Aviv

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

Ariel Schalit/AP
Ariel Schalit/AP

Thousands of Israelis filled Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square Saturday night to protest the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, angered by what they say is a critical lack of economic aid, predominantly for the self-employed.

Protesters waved yellow and black signs that called the political leaders “disconnected” and saying “enough,” while others held up signs calling this an “economic war” and demanding the government “release the money.”

“We are tired of hearing promises and press conferences,” organizer Daniel Tinder told CNN. “We want to see action, we want to see money in our accounts like all over the world. The health problem is still very severe. The economic problems are even worse. More severe than it was before.”

Following the demonstration, some protesters attempted to block roads in Tel Aviv and damaged public areas, according to Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. Twelve suspects were arrested for causing public disturbances and blocking roads, Rosenfeld said, while three police officers were lightly injured.

Ariel Schalit/AP
Ariel Schalit/AP

Some context: Unemployment in Israel hit 21% Sunday morning, according to the Israel Employment Service, as new unemployment filings were more than double the number of people returning to work over the weekend. Since Thursday, 1,250 returned to work, according to the governmental agency, but 2,843 filed for unemployment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday morning that the government had approved up to 7,500 shekels (approx. $2,170) in “rapid assistance” to business owners and the self-employed with more steps ahead.

“This support, this grant, is not dependent on legislation and we ordered that it will be enacted already today, the button will be pressed so that the money will arrive in the accounts in the next few days,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.

With the economy in such a fragile state, Netanyahu has tried to avoid another complete closure, instead employing stricter social distancing restrictions and localized lockdowns to attempt to contain the second wave of coronavirus in Israel.

Israel appeared to be on track to contain the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, when new cases dipped as low as 20 per day in mid-May following a near-complete national lockdown. But two months later, new coronavirus cases have surged to more than 1,100 per day, raising fears of another lockdown, as the dire economic outlook has taken its toll on the public.

Tour guide Erez Deron says protesters like him are fed up with the abundance of words but the lack of action.

“The government is dealing only with petty things like taxes and words between one another,” Deron told CNN. “[Netanyahu] doesn’t see the citizens. He only cares for himself, and I’m really furious about the time they are spending on foolish things.” 

During the first wave of coronavirus infections that began in late-March, Netanyahu appeared on television many nights to reassure the public that the country was doing well in its fight against Covid-19 and that he had everything under control. His approval ratings for his handling of coronavirus soared, hitting 74% in mid-May when the worst seemed to have passed. As cases have soared again in recent weeks, Netanyahu’s approval rating has tanked, dropping to 46% last week.

The crisis and the ensuing protests have exposed widening gaps within Israel’s national unity government.

8:44 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Famed Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan tests positive for coronavirus after father-in-law and husband both enter hospital

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images
Alberto Pizzoli/AFP via Getty Images

Heralded Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, the daughter-in-law of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and wife of fellow actor Abhishek Bachchan, has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Health Minister of Maharashtra state.

Rajesh Tope confirmed the diagnosis on his Twitter account. The couple's daughter Aradhya Bachchan has also tested positive.

The star's father-in-law and husband were both admitted to hospital Saturday night after they also tested positive for coronavirus. Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital said Amitabh Bachchan was in a stable condition on Sunday.

Both mother and daughter initially tested negative in rapid antigen tests conducted on Saturday night. But swab test results returned on Sunday came back positive, according to Health Minister Tope.

6:54 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Love in the time of coronavirus: Couples share how they found matches in the middle of a pandemic

From CNN's Saba Hamedy

Alec Mahon, 29, met his girlfriend Brooke, during the pandemic. They've been inseparable for the past month.
Alec Mahon, 29, met his girlfriend Brooke, during the pandemic. They've been inseparable for the past month.

If you asked Alec Mahon one month ago whether he believed in love, he'd probably tell you he had "given up."

When coronavirus first hit in March, the freelance production manager paid about $30 for a three-month premium subscription on the dating app Hinge -- and he figured he'd just keep swiping until that ended.

Like many, the 29-year-old used dating apps like Hinge as a way to connect with others, especially since making in-person connections had become nearly impossible with Covid-19 shutdowns. He went on one Facetime date -- the girl, he said, seemed like she was "just going through her matches ... like on a spreadsheet."

But on May 29, he had plans to meet up with a different match -- this time in person. A 28-year-old nurse named Brooke, with whom he would hike Runyon Canyon -- Los Angeles' picturesque, influencer-ridden trail.

It was in the middle of their approximately three-mile hike, when the two decided they felt comfortable enough to remove their face masks, that he knew this was different. Their guards were down, or as he described it, "all caution (regarding coronavirus) was thrown to the wind."

Now, less than one month and many dates later, they split most of their time between his West Hollywood apartment and hers in Long Beach. He's done what many initially considered impossible with social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders:

He found love during a global pandemic.

"This is truly two people finding their soulmate during the most unlikely of times," he told CNN in a phone interview. "We're thinking about eloping to Vegas if the chapels open."

Read more here.

6:23 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in "stable" condition with Covid-19 symptoms in hospital isolation unit

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi and Karen Smith in Atlanta

Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, left, and his son Abhishek Bachchan attend a Bollywood party in Mumbai on February 28, 2010.
Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, left, and his son Abhishek Bachchan attend a Bollywood party in Mumbai on February 28, 2010. Manav Manglani/Reuters

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan is in "stable" condition in the isolation unit at Nanavati Hospital, according to a hospital statement released on Sunday.  

Bachchan and his son Abhishek Bachchan were both admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 late Saturday evening.

"Amitabh Bachchan is stable with mild symptoms and is currently admitted in the isolation unit of the hospital," reads the hospital statement.

A living legend in Hindi-language cinema, Bachchan has made more than 180 films in a career spanning five decades.

Hailed by many as India's greatest living actor, he is revered in his home nation.

5:41 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

India's third-most populous city will lock down for a week on Tuesday night

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

A banana vendor waits for buyers outside closed shops at a wholesale vegetable market which was closed after a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, India, on Tuesday, June 23.
A banana vendor waits for buyers outside closed shops at a wholesale vegetable market which was closed after a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, India, on Tuesday, June 23. Aijaz Rahi/AP

The Indian city of Bengaluru will be put under lockdown for a week starting Tuesday to contain a massive cluster of Covid-19 cases, authorities said.

"In view of a sudden surge of Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru and on the advice of the experts, it is decided to impose lockdown for a period of one week in Bengaluru Urban and Rural Districts starting from 8 p.m. on Tuesday," Karnataka’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in a statement released Saturday.

Detailed guidelines will be issued on Monday, the statement added. Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, is the capital of the state of Karnataka, and has a population of more than 8 million people -- making it India's third-most populous city. It is home to a thriving tech industry and often referred to as India's IT capital, or the country's Silicon Valley.

Authorities have identified 16,862 cases of Covid-19 in the Bengaluru urban area and 245 cases in rural areas, state health authorities said.

As of Saturday evening, 229 people in urban areas had died after contracting the virus, while seven died in rural locations.

4:58 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Oxfam: A hunger crisis linked to Covid-19 could kill more people than the disease itself

From CNN's Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman

The coronavirus pandemic has already claimed over half a million lives across the world, with case numbers continuing to rise. A report by Oxfam warns that the hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic could kill more people each day than the infection itself.

An estimated 12,000 people per day could die from hunger linked to Covid-19 by the end of the year, Oxfam said. By comparison, data by Johns Hopkins University shows that the pandemic's deadliest day so far was April 17, when 8,890 deaths were recorded.

"The pandemic is the final straw for millions of people already struggling with the impacts of conflict, climate change, inequality and a broken food system that has impoverished millions of food producers and workers," Oxfam's Interim Executive Director Chema Vera said in a release.

Among the issues that have left many unable to put food on the table are lost income caused by unemployment or a reduction in remittance payments, the lack of social support for those who work in the informal economy, and disruptions to the supply chain and hurdles faced by producers.

Also contributing to the crisis are the travel restrictions related to lockdowns, which affect not just workers and farmers, but also the delivery of humanitarian aid.

These new challenges add themselves to long-standing issues worsening global hunger, including wars, climate change and rising inequality.

Read more:

4:18 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

Cell phone data shows Americans hit the road over July 4, even as coronavirus surged

From CNN's Jen Christensen

After Memorial Day, as the United States began to reopen, coronavirus cases began to rise. The number of hospitalizations had risen in at least a dozen states two weeks after the holiday weekend.

For the Fourth of July weekend, a new analysis of cell phone data suggests even more people hit the road among 10 coronavirus hotspots, despite warnings from health experts.

Mobility, experts say, is one driver of transmission of the novel coronavirus.

The analysis comes from data shared with CNN by Cuebiq, one of the private companies that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses to track general movement in the United States. Cuebiq gets its data when people download apps on their phones and opt into anonymous location data tracking. The company's full data set includes 15 million phones nationwide.

For the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the data shows that the numbers of people traveling were generally higher overall than Memorial Day weekend. The July 4 weekend was generally recognized as Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while Memorial Day weekend in May was Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Read more:

3:13 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

For the fourth day in a row, India records an all-time high in new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

A medical professional collects swab sample to test for Covid-19 infection, at MMG hospital, on July 11, in Ghaziabad, India.
A medical professional collects swab sample to test for Covid-19 infection, at MMG hospital, on July 11, in Ghaziabad, India. Sakib Ali/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

India announced another 28,637 coronavirus cases on Sunday morning -- the fourth day in a row in which the country set a new daily record for infections.

India has now recorded at least 849,553 cases of Covid-19, more than any other country except Brazil or the United States. Of those, 292,258 are active cases, while 534,620 patients have recovered, according to India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

At least 22,674 people have died from the virus.

The western state of Maharashtra remains India's worst-hit region with 246,660 cases and 10,116 virus-related deaths, according to officials. 

2:50 a.m. ET, July 12, 2020

More people have died from Covid-19 in Britain than in any other country except the US and Brazil. But it STILL won't wear masks

By CNN's Sarah Dean

People socialize in Soho, central London, after the lifting of further coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England.
People socialize in Soho, central London, after the lifting of further coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England. Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Getty Images

Walk into any busy store in England or board a train on London's cramped underground system and you will see dozens of people unmasked. And you can forget about face coverings at recently reopened pubs ... that's about as likely as a free pint of beer.

This is all happening despite the United Kingdom being one of the world's worst-hit countries by coronavirus. It stands third behind Brazil and the United States in terms of the number of people killed by the virus, with almost 45,000 fatalities.

The three countries with the most deaths also have populations not wearing masks

Now, as the World Health Organization confirms there is "emerging evidence" of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, senior scientists are urging Britons to take up mask wearing, as two new reports highlight the potential effectiveness of facial coverings. 

"The UK is way behind many countries in terms of wearing masks," the head of Britain's national academy of sciences, the Royal Society, Venki Ramakrishnan said Tuesday.

Ramakrishnan said not wearing a mask should be regarded as antisocial as drink driving and reasoned that there is a "growing body of evidence that wearing a mask will help protect others -- and might even protect you."

Read more here: