The latest on the coronavirus pandemic

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Fernando Alfonso III, CNN

Updated 2:04 a.m. ET, July 18, 2020
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2:38 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

As Brazil surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases, virus migrates to southern regions

From CNN's Fernanda Wenzel in Porto Alegre, Marcia Reverdosa in São Paulo, and Taylor Barnes in Atlanta

People walk through a crowded street in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Brazil, on May 12.
People walk through a crowded street in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina state, Brazil, on May 12. Eduardo Valente/AFP/Getty Images

In Brazil, southern and central-western states that had been spared the worst of the outbreak so far are now seeing coronavirus cases rise rapidly.

Brazil surpassed two million cases on Thursday, and continues to report tens of thousands of new cases a day.

For most of the pandemic, the outbreak has been most severe in Brazil's populous southeast, coastal northeast and Amazonian regions in the north.

But now the south -- including the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul -- has seen its new daily cases more than double compared to this time last month.

These three states have reported more than a hundred total deaths in recent days. A month ago, that number was only a few dozen.  

"These areas have a different epidemiological timing, so they are now at the same place the Southeast and the North were two months ago, with the curve rising. And they probably will go through all the processes that the other parts of the country already went through,” Diego Xavier, a researcher at the Ministry of Health-affiliated Oswaldo Cruz Research Foundation, told CNN.  

The population in Brazil’s south may also be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. "The South's population is more elderly than in the rest of Brazil, and elderly people are at greater risk for Covid-19,” said Xavier.

  • In Mato Grosso, 92% of public healthcare ICU beds are occupied, according to the local government.
  • In Rio Grande do Sul, 75% of ICU beds are occupied, and the number of confirmed cases grew 132% in the past month, according to the state government.
  • In Minas Gerais, a southeastern state, the number of cases has quadrupled in just one month, going from 21,728 in June to 82,010 in July.   
2:16 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

UN aid chief to wealthy nations: "Failure to act now will leave the virus free to circle round the globe"

United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock speaks in an interview with Xinhua at the UN headquarters in New York on February 13.
United Nations Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock speaks in an interview with Xinhua at the UN headquarters in New York on February 13. Li Muzi/Xinhua/Getty Images

The United Nations' top official in charge of humanitarian aid has criticized the world's wealthy industrialized nations for their "short sighted" response to the Covid-19 pandemic, warning that their failure to support the developing world could exacerbate the effects of the global health crisis for tens of millions of people.

"The pandemic and associated global recession are about to wreak havoc in fragile and low-income countries. The response of wealthy nations so far has been grossly inadequate and dangerously short-sighted," said Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, in statement released Thursday.

While the virus has upended life in parts of Europe and North America, it has also continued to spread unchecked in many parts of the developing world, including in parts of Latin America and now Africa. 

Catastrophic consequences: At this current rate, the pandemic and economic crisis could "push 265 million people to the point of starvation by the end of the year" and cause the first increase in global poverty in 30 years, the UN warned.

"Failure to act now will leave the virus free to circle round the globe, undo decades of development and create a generation's worth of tragic and exportable problems," said Lowcock.

Call for action: Lowcock is calling upon the Group of 20 (G20) nations, representing the world's major economies, to donate $10.3 billion dollars to support 63 vulnerable countries across the world. As of July 12, only $1.64 billion worth of assistance had been received, the UN said.

Read the full story here:

1:44 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

The US reported more than 77,000 new cases today -- the highest daily jump so far

The United States reported 77,255 new cases on Thursday -- the highest single-day jump since the pandemic began, and triple what the daily figures had been just weeks ago.

There were also 943 new deaths reported, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

These new figures raise the country's total to at least 3,576,157 cases and 138,358 deaths.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases. 

Follow our live tracker of US cases here:

1:20 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

Australia’s Victoria state reports biggest daily jump in cases

From CNN’s Sol Han in Seoul and Angus Watson in Sydney

A general view of a housing complex during lockdown due to Covid-19 in Melbourne, Australia on July 17.
A general view of a housing complex during lockdown due to Covid-19 in Melbourne, Australia on July 17. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria reported 428 new coronavirus cases in the past day – its highest daily increase for second consecutive day, Premier Daniel Andrews announced Friday. 

Of those, 57 cases were connected to known outbreaks and one from quarantine. The rest are are still under investigation, he said. 

Three additional deaths from the virus were also reported in the state. 

“We are going to increase the total number of testing sites across Victoria,” Andrews said, adding that the state has already carried out more than 1.2 million tests for coronavirus since January 1. 

Melbourne under lockdown: Melbourne, the capital of Victoria and the country's second most populous city, went back under lockdown last week as the state struggled to contain the surge in cases.

The lockdown will last six weeks, with police and army police roadblocks to clamp down on people who do not need to be outside. Residents can still go out for essential reasons like buying groceries or seeking medical treatment.

12:30 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

India surpasses 1 million coronavirus cases 

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi 

A health worker places a swab sample into a test tube at a Covid-19 testing centre in Srinagar, India on July 16.
A health worker places a swab sample into a test tube at a Covid-19 testing centre in Srinagar, India on July 16. Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

India has recorded more than one million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, as the world's second most populous country struggles to contain a growing healthcare crisis.

India is only the third country globally, after the United States and Brazil, to hit a million Covid-19 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University tally. 

The country reported 34,956 new cases in the past 24 hours, said the country's health ministry on Friday -- the highest daily jump yet.

That raises the country's total to 1,003,832 coronavirus cases and more than 25,600 deaths. 

More than 630,000 patients have so far recovered from the virus, the ministry said. 

12:10 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

Nicaragua's president has been absent for more than a month as Covid-19 sweeps Latin America

From CNN’s Natalie Gallón in Mexico City and Mario Medrano in Managua 

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega attends a meeting in Panama City on April 10, 2015.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega attends a meeting in Panama City on April 10, 2015. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has not been seen in public for more than a month, as the virus continues to sweep across Latin America.

Ortega’s last public appearance was on June 10 at a virtual conference regarding the post-pandemic economy with member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA).

There was a similar lengthy period of absence at the start of the pandemic, when Ortega spent more than 40 days out of the public eye. The government offered no explanation for that absence.

The government has reported nearly 100 deaths related to the novel coronavirus and 3,147 confirmed cases as of Thursday, though skepticism regarding the transparency of the data provided by the Ortega administration lingers, especially since the government controls all test information. The country's population is estimated to be around 6.5 million, according to 2018 figures provided by the World Bank.

According to research from Nicaragua’s Covid-19 Citizen Observatory, an interdisciplinary monitoring group working to “fill the void of information about Covid-19 in Nicaragua,” at least 2,225 people have died from the virus. Confirmed cases in the country have reached at least 7,893, according to the group.

12:08 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

China reports 10 new symptomatic cases

From CNN's Shanshan Wang in Beijing

China recorded 10 new symptomatic coronavirus cases on Thursday, the country's National Health Commission announced Friday. 

Of these 10, nine were considered as imported cases registered across Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shandong, Guangxi, Shaanxi and Shanghai. 

The commission also reported five new asymptomatic cases, which are counted separately in China.

12:08 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

Coronavirus vaccine participant recounts his experience after suffering side effects

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard and John Bonifield

Ian Haydon
Ian Haydon CNN/FILE

Ian Haydon, a participant in Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine trial, told CNN he suffered some serious side effects after receiving a high dose of the vaccine.

The effects included a high fever and nausea after receiving a 250 microgram dose, Haydon said on Thursday night.

"They lasted about a day, and those were things like a high fever over 103, fatigue, muscle ache, nausea, things like that. I ended up going to urgent care as this was happening so that the doctors could keep an eye on me and run some tests," Haydon said.
"But like I said, after about a day those tapered away and aside from that brief episode, I've really had no issues whatsoever."

Some background: CNN reported this week that a Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has been found to induce immune responses in all of the volunteers who received it in a Phase 1 study.

These early results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Tuesday, showed that the vaccine worked to trigger an immune response with mild side effects — fatigue, chills, headache, muscle pain, pain at the injection site — becoming the first US vaccine candidate to publish results in a peer-reviewed medical journal

The vaccine is expected to begin later this month a large Phase 3 trial — the final trial stage before regulators consider whether to make the vaccine available.

12:08 a.m. ET, July 17, 2020

Colombia tops 173,000 coronavirus cases and 6,000 deaths

From CNN's Abel Alvarado in Atlanta

A healthcare worker carries Covid-19 tests in Bogota, Colombia on July 15.
A healthcare worker carries Covid-19 tests in Bogota, Colombia on July 15. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities in Colombia reported 8,037 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and 251 deaths. 

The new numbers bring the total number of cases for the country to 173,206 and the number of deaths to 6,029. 

More than 76,000 people have so far recovered from the virus, according to government data.