July 29 coronavirus news

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4:08 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

It's just past 9 a.m. in London and 1:30 p.m. in New Delhi. Here's the latest headlines

Nearly 16.8 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded worldwide, including more than 660,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Here's the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic from around the globe:

  • India cases surge: The total number of coronavirus cases in India has surpassed 1.5 million, after more than half a million new infections were recorded in just 12 days. Only the United States and Brazil have reported more cases than India.
  • Rising US death toll: More than 1,200 virus-related deaths were recorded in the United States on Tuesday. Nearly 150,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • UK vaccine deal: Britain has signed an agreement to secure up to 60 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine currently being developed by pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. The UK has now signed deals to secure access to four potential vaccines being developed, totaling 250 million doses. 
  • Japan sees highest daily spike: Some 981 new cases were recorded on Tuesday, eclipsing the previous high of 966 set on July 23.
  • China records over 100 new cases: Fresh outbreaks in China's far western region of Xinjiang and northeastern province of Liaoning have continued to spread. The country recorded 101 new infections for Tuesday, its highest daily increase since April 12.

This post was updated to reflect the US death count.

3:30 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

South Korea will impose strict control measures on Russian crew members from August

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

South Korea is imposing tighter controls on Russian crew members intending to dock in its ports from August 3, according to the country's Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Starting from the beginning of August, Russian crew members will have to submit coronavirus test results to Korean authorities 48 hours before departing for South Korea. 

In July, 44 crew members of a Russian vessel tested positive in South Korea's southeastern port of Busan. An additional 10 local infections were linked to the cluster, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Korea detected 48 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, including 14 local infections, increasing the total to 14,251, according to the health ministry. The death toll remained at 300.

A total of 882 people are in active quarantine, while 13,069 have recovered so far.

3:17 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

UK signs deal to secure 60 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccine

Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives in Downing Street in London, England on June 2.
Britain's Business Secretary Alok Sharma arrives in Downing Street in London, England on June 2. Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

The British government has signed a supply deal to secure up to 60 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine currently being developed by pharmaceutical giants Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. 

“A deal to secure early access to a promising new coronavirus vaccine has been announced by the government today (29 July), enhancing the UK’s growing portfolio of vaccine candidates to protect the public and to save lives,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said Wednesday in a statement. 
“The agreement with GSK and Sanofi Pasteur, which combined have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world, will supply the UK with 60 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, which is based on existing DNA-based technology used to produce Sanofi’s flu vaccine,” the statement added. 

According to the government, this latest deal could allow priority groups to be vaccinated as early as summer 2021, should the Sanofi and GSK vaccine candidate prove effective in human studies. 

“Our scientists and researchers are racing to find a safe and effective vaccine at a speed and scale never seen before. While this progress is truly remarkable, the fact remains that there are no guarantees,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said Wednesday. 

“In the meantime, it is important that we secure early access to a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates, like GSK and Sanofi, to increase our chances of finding one that works so we can protect the public and save lives,” he added. 

Diversified access: The UK government has now signed deals to secure access to four potential vaccines being developed, totaling 250 million doses. 

“Through this agreement with GSK and Sanofi, the Vaccine Taskforce can add another type of vaccine to the three different types of vaccine we have already secured,” the chair of the government’s vaccines task force, Kate Bingham, said. 

“This diversity of vaccine types is important because we do not yet know which, if any, of the different types of vaccine will prove to generate a safe and protective response to Covid-19,” she added, cautioning that the UK must not be complacent or overly optimistic.

2:54 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Trump undermines his pandemic response with more misinformation and self-obsession

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

US President Donald Trump's return as the face of the Covid-19 response has deteriorated into a misinformation masterclass that explains why America is in such a mess.

In an extraordinary performance Tuesday, as the daily death toll again soared toward 1,000 and the number of Americans dead approached a tragic milestone of 150,000, Trump again forswore the most basic requirements of national leadership in a crisis.

At a White House briefing that turned almost into a parody of his own mismanagement of the pandemic, he complained that the government's top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had better approval ratings than he did.

He painted a misleading picture of a viral surge still raging across Southern and Western states that is showing new signs of spreading deeper into the heartland, saying large portions of the country were "corona-free."

And he launched a stunning new pitch for hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug beloved by conservative media but that has not been shown in rigorous clinical trials to be an effective treatment for Covid-19.

Given the trail of sickness and death that has unfolded in recent months, it was bizarre though not surprising that the President would return to the controversy over hydroxychloroquine. On Monday night, he retweeted videos describing hydroxychloroquine as a "cure" that meant Americans didn't need to wear masks.

Read the full analysis:

2:26 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Monkey study indicates good news for Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine

From CNN's Maggie Fox

A view of Moderna headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 8.
A view of Moderna headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 8. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A study done in monkeys suggests Moderna’s experimental coronavirus vaccine might protect against severe disease and reduce the risk of passing the virus along to others.

Moderna started advanced, Phase 3 testing of its experimental vaccine in humans in the United States on Monday -- the fastest advancement ever of a new vaccine in the US. But the quick vaccine development process means the vaccine was not tested extensively in animals before moving on to people.

A team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helped develop the vaccine, tested it in rhesus macaque monkeys. Then they infected the monkeys with the virus -- an experiment that would be difficult, ethically, to do in human.

Monkey tests: While the monkeys did become infected, the vaccine appeared to interfere with the spread of the virus in the animals, the NIAID team reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“Remarkably, after two days, no replicating virus was detectable in the lungs of seven out of eight of the macaques in both vaccinated groups, while all eight placebo-injected animals continued to have replicating virus in the lung,” the NIAID researchers said in a statement.

None of the monkeys that got the higher dose of vaccine had virus in their noses, either. That would suggest the vaccine might prevent the spread of the virus, even if people do get infected.

“This is the first time an experimental COVID-19 vaccine tested in nonhuman primates has been shown to produce such rapid viral control in the upper airway, the investigators note,” the researchers said.

“A COVID-19 vaccine that reduces viral replication in the lungs would limit disease in the individual, while reducing shedding in the upper airway would potentially lessen transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and consequently reduce the spread of disease,” they added.

The researchers note that it’s not at all clear that monkeys respond to the virus in the same way that people do. But they noted that the virus appears to replicate in the noses of the monkeys in much the same way as it does in people.

Also reassuring: One worry was that the vaccine might make the body overreact to a true infection later on, a response known as vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease. This didn’t happen in the monkeys, the researchers said.

2:46 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

India's coronavirus cases surpass 1.5 million

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Health workers collect swab samples of people from inside a new Covid-19 testing kiosk in Kolkata, India, on Monday, July 28.
Health workers collect swab samples of people from inside a new Covid-19 testing kiosk in Kolkata, India, on Monday, July 28. Jit Chattopadhyay/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

India's total number of coronavirus cases surged past 1.5 million on Wednesday, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India hit a million cases of coronavirus on July 17, six months after its first infection was discovered on January 30. Since then, it took just 12 days to record another half a million cases.

As of Wednesday, India has reported a total of 1,531,669 cases -- the third highest in the world, after the United States and Brazil. The total includes 34,193 deaths.

The country had conducted 17,743,740 coronavirus tests as of July 28. It currently has 509,447 active Covid-19 cases.

Recovered patients: Some 988,029 people have recovered from the virus, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

In India, patients with mild and moderate symptoms are considered no longer active after 10 days of symptom onset if they meet certain conditions. A test to confirm that they no longer have the virus is not required. Severe cases can only be discharged after one negative coronavirus test.

8:34 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

US reports more than 61,000 new Covid-19 cases as death toll nears 150,000

From CNN's Joe Sutton in Atlanta

At least 61,660 new coronavirus infections and 1,244 virus-related deaths were confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The US' cumulative case count now stands at 4,351,997, including 149,256 fatalities, according to JHU.

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

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

1:12 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Japan records highest daily spike of coronavirus cases

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Japan's Ministry of Health recorded 981 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday -- the highest daily increase in the country since the pandemic began.

Previously, the country's highest daily spike was 966 cases, recorded on July 23.

The total number of infections reported in Japan now stands at 32,613, with 1,014 deaths.

Osaka and Aichi prefectures recorded their own highest daily infections on Tuesday. Osaka recorded 155 cases while Aichi confirmed 110 infections.

CNN is tracking worldwide coronavirus cases here:

12:46 a.m. ET, July 29, 2020

Trump administration was slow to recognize Covid-19 threat from Europe, CDC director admits

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

The United States was slow in recognizing the coronavirus threat from Europe, Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, admitted for the first time Tuesday in an interview with ABC News.

"The introduction from Europe happened before we realized what was happening," Redfield said. "By the time we realized (the) Europe threat and shut down travel to Europe, there was probably already two or three weeks of 60,000 people coming back every day from Europe," he added.
"That's where the large seeding came in the Unites States."

The US restricted travel from China on February 2 and from Europe on March 13, but by March 8, Covid-19 was already circulating among the community in New York City and, by March 15, community transmission of the virus was already widespread, a recent analysis from the CDC found.

By the time the Trump administration banned travelers from Europe, the virus was already spreading in New York City, according to the report. Testing was also limited at the start of the epidemic there, allowing people with undetected cases to spread the virus.

Read the full story: