July 23 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brad Lendon, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, July 24, 2020
66 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
2:21 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

WHO is always ready to provide assistance to any of its member states, officials say

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Dr. Mike Ryan
Dr. Mike Ryan World Health Organization

The three countries worst hit by coronavirus right now are strong and able, but the World Health Organization can help if needed, officials said Wednesday.

“We are always ready and will always remain ready to provide advice, input and service to any of our member states wherever they are,” WHO’s Dr. Mike Ryan said during a briefing Thursday in Geneva.

“Obviously, the United States is not in need of our assistance most of the time,” he added. 

Ryan said that the WHO regional office for Southeast Asia was in Delhi and one of their largest country offices in the Americas is in Brazil.

“Those countries are intertwined with us,” Ryan said. The US, Brazil and India lead the world in new coronavirus cases at present.

Ryan said he believes all three of these countries are “powerful, able, democratic countries, who have tremendous internal capacities to deal with this disease,” and they can “turn this around, because of the nature of their public health, their science and their innate capacities to fight this disease.” 

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead for coronavirus response, agreed with Ryan.

“We are here to help all countries, and we work through our regional offices and we work through our country offices to provide support to everyone, everywhere,” she said. “And I think just a message to say that even in those three countries that have the highest number of cases right now, can be turned around. It can be turned around, and there are tools that all countries have that can do that.”

These tools involve physical distancing, hand hygiene and being informed about where the virus is present, Kerkhove said.

2:15 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Peru to send additional support to Arequipa region, the country's new Covid-19 epicenter

From CNN’s Claudia Rebaza

Health professionals receive the first patients affected by covid-19, who will receive early and specialized treatment at the new Cerro Juli hospital in Arequipa, Peru on July 22.
Health professionals receive the first patients affected by covid-19, who will receive early and specialized treatment at the new Cerro Juli hospital in Arequipa, Peru on July 22. Handout/EsSalud/Latin America News Agency/Reuters

Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra announced his government issued an emergency decree in order to impose additional measures and help the region of Arequipa, which has become the new epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Vizcarra said Peru’s health ministry will intervene and cooperate with Arequipa’s regional government to tackle the crisis after the region reported a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few weeks.

“The health ministry involvement as a national authority in the Arequipa region is needed to alleviate the crisis due to the increase of Covid-19 cases and deaths. There are resources and the will to fix the problem in Arequipa,” the president said on Wednesday evening during a televised address to the country.

Arequipa, in southern Peru, had been one of the least affected of Peru’s 24 regions. It registered 11,012 Covid-19 cases and 601 deaths on Wednesday evening, according to data released by the health ministry. 

Vizcarra traveled to the region last Sunday and admitted the lack of resources in the region. His administration had ordered more than 110,000 rapid tests, almost half million drugs and more than one million personal protective equipment units (PPE).

“This help hasn’t arrived yet,” the president said.

“They are even asking for donations,” he added, according to state news agency, Andina.

Dr. Miguel Palacios, dean of the Medical College of Peru, told CNN the government’s announcement is a good start but more action is needed as the situation in Arequipa has reached breaking point. 

“The health system has been totally overwhelmed, we think Arequipa should be declared a 'health disaster area' to be able to activate more resources apart from the health ministry’s support," Palacios said.

Palacios highlighted that hospitals have reached their capacity, there is lack of oxygen for treating patients and a shortage of doctors, many of them working with delayed payments and under challenging labor conditions.

At least 120 doctors have been infected with the virus while nine have died in Arequipa since the pandemic started, Palacios told CNN.

More on the country's figures: On Wednesday evening, Peru’s Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti Soler announced 3,688 new Covid-19 deaths that were previously unaccounted for. The new deaths were brought to light after an analysis by a special commission that studied 20,000 cases from March to June, Mazzetti Soler said. 

With Mazzetti Soler's announcement, Peru's Covid-19 death toll went from 13,767 to 17,455. Peru’s health ministry reported 366,550 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday evening.

At least 2,650 doctors have been infected with coronavirus while 95 have died due to the virus, according to data released by the Medical College of Peru.

1:29 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Illinois reports highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since May 25

From CNN’s Brad Parks in Chicago and Kay Jones

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 1,624 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 166,925.

This is the highest daily total of cases since May 25, according to the numbers published by the IDPH website. 

IDPH said in a news release that the seven-day positivity rate is 3.4%.  

There are 20 new deaths associated with the virus, bringing the state’s total to 7,367, according to the release. 

The state also reported that 1,473 people are hospitalized with 309 in intensive care units and 135 on ventilators. 

Note: These numbers were released by the Illinois Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

 

1:28 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

There are more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in Louisiana

From CNN's Hollie Silverman and Kay Jones 

The Louisiana Department of Health reported a total of more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus in the state.

According to the agency, at least 2,408 new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday, bringing the total number of cases statewide to 101,650.

Community spread made up about 91% of new cases and 33% of the cases were identified in people ages 29 and under, the agency tweeted.

The total number of deaths statewide stands at 3,574, with 16 new fatalities reported Thursday, the agency said.

According to Johns Hopkins University's website, at least 11 other states have reported more than 100,000 coronavirus cases.

Note: These numbers were released by the Louisiana Department of Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

1:18 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Lockdown phases return for some Spanish regions as numbers of Covid-19 cases rise

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro in Madrid

People with masks walk through the town of Ainsa, Spain, on July 19.
People with masks walk through the town of Ainsa, Spain, on July 19. Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images

Spain’s northern region of Aragon will bring back phase two of the de-escalation process for some counties following an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.

People in the area of Bajo Cinca, Bajo Aragón-Caspe, Comarca Central and Monegros will be asked to stay in their county and only leave when absolutely necessary. Meetings of over 10 people are forbidden and the capacity of bars and restaurants will be reduced.

La Litera, Cinca Medio, Barbastro and Huesca counties will continue to be in a "relaxed phase two," said Sira Repollés, Aragon’s health councillor.

About the numbers: Spain recorded 971 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest number since May 8, the Spanish health ministry’s data showed on Thursday

Nearly half of those new cases — 422 — are in Aragon. Only three people died from coronavirus in Spain on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 28,429.  

María José Sierra of the health ministry's emergencies coordination unit said at a news conference on Thursday that “the number of cases is rising but it is not putting pressure on the health system because 50% of them are asymptomatic. The average age has gone down to 45 years old."

Sierra said that although there are 281 active outbreaks in the country, “we are most concerned about the regions of Aragon and Catalonia.”

“There is not only outbreaks. There is also community transmission," she added.

The government of the southern Murcia region also announced Thursday that it will put the municipality of Totana after identifying an outbreak in which 55 people tested positive for coronavirus.

1:16 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

More than 140,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US as country nears 4 million cases

From CNN’s Haley Brink

There have been at least 3,991,061 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 143,495 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

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

On Thursday at 1:00 pm ET, Johns Hopkins had reported 20,155 new cases and 305 additional deaths.  

Here's a look at the US states with the highest number of cases:

 

12:57 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Countries with low levels of Covid-19 will still experience outbreaks, WHO says

From CNN's Health Gisela Crespo

Countries coming out of lockdowns and countries with low levels of Covid-19 will still experience potential clusters and outbreaks of the disease, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, said on Thursday. 

Ryan explained during a news conference that even in countries that have brought down the virus "under extreme control," such as Germany and Spain, "there's always a chance that the disease can be imported or the disease can spread from unseen clusters." 

Ryan said that rather than implementing widespread lockdowns, governments should be "more precise" in how they contain an outbreak.

"Instead of restricting everyone, we try and go after the virus. And we try and identify where the virus is, and then specifically and surgically, in the sense, excise the virus from the community by minimizing the impact on the lives and livelihoods of the community," Ryan said. 

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of its emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said that if outbreaks "are dealt with swiftly" through testing and contact tracing, "you have an opportunity to really put that fire out quickly." 

12:52 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

There is still "intense transmission" of Covid-19 in a relatively small group of countries, WHO says

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Coronavirus is spreading fast in some countries, the World Health Organization said Thursday. 

“We continue to see intense transmission in a relatively small group of countries,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing in Geneva. 

Tedros said 15 million cases of Covid-19 and 620,000 deaths have now been reported to WHO.

“Almost 10 million cases, or two thirds of all cases globally, are from 10 countries,” he said. “And almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries.”

The US, Brazil and India have the highest numbers of new cases currently.

“Even in those three countries that have the highest numbers of cases right now (it) can be turned around,” WHO’s Maria van Kerkhove said later.

Tedros reiterated that political leadership and community engagement are the “two vital pillars of the response.”

Here's a look at the countries with the highest number of confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data:

12:45 p.m. ET, July 23, 2020

Administration nearing release of additional guidance on return to US schools

From CNN's Kristen Holmes and Nick Valencia

Supplemental guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safely reopening schools during the pandemic could be released as early as tonight, two federal officials told CNN.

A senior administration official said that five supplemental guidance documents have now been completed and described their release as "imminent."

Some background: Earlier this week, CNN reported that the supplemental guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been cleared though the federal review process by the Office of Management and Budget.

The White House initially said this guidance would come out last week, but a CDC spokesman confirmed late Friday that it would be delayed because the documents weren't ready.

President Trump had criticized current CDC reopening guidance as "too tough."

A federal health official also confirmed the timetable to CNN, and, reacting to previous delays in this process, the source said: “I will believe it when I see it.”

 Many school districts in the U.S. are set to resume classes in some form as soon as two weeks from now.