July 29 coronavirus news

Clinicians care for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at El Centro Regional Medical Center in hard-hit Imperial County on July 21, 2020 in El Centro, California. Imperial County currently suffers from the highest death rate and near-highest infection rate from COVID-19 in California. The rural county, which is 85 percent Latino, borders Mexico and Arizona and endures high poverty rates and air pollution while also being medically underserved. In California, Latinos make up about 39 percent of the population but account for 55 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases amid the pandemic.
US surpasses 150,000 coronavirus deaths
02:22 - Source: CNN

What you need to know

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

111 Posts

Brazilian mayor tests negative for Covid-19 nearly a month after contracting the virus

The mayor of Brazil’s Amazonian city of Manaus, Arthur Virgílio Neto, was discharged from hospital Wednesday nearly one month after contracting Covid-19.  

“Arthur concluded his medical treatment in São Paulo,” said a note published by the City Hall. 

The mayor was transferred to a São Paulo hospital for treatment on July 6 with his wife, who had also tested positive for the virus, according to a previous statement from his office.

The mayor has been a vocal critic of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the pandemic. In a profanity-laced video of a cabinet meeting released by Brazil’s Supreme Court in May, Bolsonaro referred to Virgílio Neto as a “piece of sh**” for digging mass graves in his city during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health crisis: Manaus is the capital of Amazonas, a northern state in Brazil. It was the first state capital to see its hospital system collapse due to the coronavirus outbreak.  

Last week, Amazonas state recorded 5,560 new cases, down from 11,758 new infections a week at the end of May. The state’s death toll now stands at 3,232, with seven deaths in the past 24 hours.

North Korea has tested over 1,000 people for Covid-19 and found no confirmed cases, WHO says

People stand at Taedongmun gate in Pyongyang to watch a firework display on July 27 to mark the 67th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice agreement.

North Korea has tested 1,211 people for coronavirus as of July 16, with all results returned negative, the World Health Organization’s representative to North Korea Dr. Edwin Salvador told CNN.

All educational institutions in the country – including pre-schools – are now on extended summer break for the next two months, Salvador said.

Currently, 696 North Koreans are under quarantine. They are all laborers and loaders working at the Nampo port on the country’s western coast and the Sinuiju-Dandong border between North Korea and China, Salvador said.  

“The increase in the number of people quarantined is due to the increased volume of goods coming into the country through Nampo and Sinuiju-Dangdong routes. Medicines and medical products such as vaccines and Covid-19 related items are given high priority to be transported across the border,” Salvador said. 

According to WHO, 15 laboratories are designated for coronavirus testing in North Korea, including provincial laboratories. The Central Hygiene Anti-Epidemic Institute remains the reference laboratory.

Primers and probes for PCR machines to facilitate 1,000 tests, sent from WHO’s Southeast Asia regional office, have arrived in North Korea, Salvador said, adding that WHO had earlier provided 900 pieces of personal protective equipment along with laboratory reagents.

North Korea is also checking people’s temperature using infrared thermometers, providing hand-washing facilities and sanitizer in all public places including shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. Public announcements on Covid-19 information are made over TV, radio, print media as well as loudspeakers, Salvador said.

Suspected case: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened an emergency meeting Saturday after it was reported that a defector who fled the country three years ago had returned to the North Korean city of Kaesong, while possibly infected with coronavirus, according to state-run newswire KCNA.

Few experts believe that North Korea, a country of nearly 25 million people which shares a border with China, could have escaped the effects of a pandemic that has infected more than 16 million people worldwide and killed nearly 650,000.

Australia's Victoria state sees highest daily surge in Covid-19 cases 

Medical transport workers prepare to enter the Epping Aged Care Home on July 29 in Melbourne.

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 723 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, setting a new daily high for the state and the whole country, according to numbers delivered by Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday.

Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, has so far diagnosed 9,998 cases, accounting for more than 60% of the country’s total number of infections.

The state now has 5,385 active cases, with more than 80% of them in metropolitan Melbourne and neighboring Mitchell Shire – both subject to a stay-at-home order. 

Andrews announced 13 further fatalities recorded Wednesday, another single-day high for the country, bringing the state’s death toll to 105 and Australia’s to 189.

Wednesday’s new cases were found through 19,921 tests conducted across the state. 

Stricter measures: On Thursday, Andrews announced that from midnight Sunday, a mandate to wear masks or face coverings in public will extend from metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to the rest of the state. 

A ban on home gatherings has been extended to six further areas of Victoria, Andrews said, noting that household to household transmission was a factor in the rising numbers.

“Today is not a good day, Andrews wrote in a statement. “This is one of the biggest challenges our state has faced. And yet, really, we’re all being asked to make the smallest of sacrifices. By not seeing your mate, you might be saving their life. By not hugging your mum, you might be keeping her alive.”

China reports more than 100 new coronavirus cases for second day in a row

China recorded more than 100 new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, according to the country’s National Health Commission.

Among the 105 new cases – the highest number the country has seen since it brought the virus largely under control in March – 102 were locally transmitted.

Some 96 local infections were found in the far western region of Xinjiang, one in Beijing, with the remaining cases confirmed in Liaoning

The NHC also recorded a further 21 asymptomatic infections, which are not included in the total tally of confirmed cases.

Tuesday marked the first time China had recorde