US House minority leader Kevin McCarthy dodged a question about President Trump using a racist term to describe coronavirus.
“When we have seen a spike in coronavirus, you’re concerned about somebody and the way they name it,” McCarthy said on Capitol Hill.
“That’s appalling to me.”
Trump received widespread criticism for referring to coronavirus as “Kung Flu” during his Saturday rally in Tulsa, as a number of states report increases in new cases of the virus.
Of course, McCarthy’s response to the question ignores the fact that Trump is simultaneously downplaying the surge in new cases, incorrectly insisting that the increase is due to expanded testing.
In reality, many public health experts have said the surge in new cases is more attributable to states reopening and Americans relaxing social distancing practices.
Wendy Schiller, a professor of political science, has criticised President’s Trump handling of the pandemic.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a budget emergency in the state, blaming expenses and the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Cases worldwide passed 9.4m on Thursday, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass 10m by the end of the week. At least 480,000 people have died so far.
- Cases continue to surge in the Americas, with Texas announcing it is halting its reopening after an alarming rise in infections and hospitalisations. US government experts have said they believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official counts. Mexico confirmed its second-highest daily coronavirus death toll so far, with 947 fatalities on Wednesday.
- Europe has seen a surge of Covid-19 cases since countries began easing restrictions, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, has told reporters. “Last week, Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months,” he said, adding that more than two dozen countries in Europe had recorded resurgences of the deadly virus.
- In Portugal, several parts of Greater Lisbon will have to go back into lockdown from next week as Portuguese ities deal with a worrying wave of coronavirus on the city’s outskirts.
- Israel is also experiencing an alarming surge in new coronavirus cases, which has prompted the government to approve the reimposing of a controversial tracking system administered by the country’s domestic security agency, the Shin Bet.
- The decline in the number of people in England estimated to have Covid-19 has levelled off, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest. The body said the percentage testing positive has “clearly decreased over time” since the first measurement on 26 April and that “this downward trend has now flattened”.
- The World Health Organization has warned that hospitals are facing a shortage in oxygen concentrators, which are needed to support the breathing of Covid-19 patients suffering from respiratory distress, as 1m new cases of coronavirus are confirmed worldwide per week.
- Volunteers in the UK, Brazil and South Africa received their first doses of an experimental vaccine as part of a human trial run by Oxford University.
- China reported 19 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control. Of the new cases it reported on Thursday, 13 were in Beijing and one in the neighbouring province of Hebei. Officials say the other five were brought by Chinese travellers from outside the country. No new deaths were reported.
Read our latest global coronavirus report from the Guardian’s Europe editor, Jon Henley, here:
Almost half of the population of an Austrian alpine resort hit by a coronavirus outbreak have antibodies, indicating they had been infected in the pandemic, researchers have said
According to AFP, thousands became infected after holidaying in Ischgl and other ski resorts in the western province of Tyrol around early March, transmitting the virus not just in Austria but also abroad in Germany, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
A study by the Medical University of Innsbruck now shows 42.4% of those living in Ischgl are thought to carry new coronavirus antibodies.
“In Ischgl, we have the highest seroprevalence ever shown in a study. Even if we can’t conclude this means those in Ischgl have herd immunity, a good part of the population should have protection” from contracting the virus for now, research leader Dorothee von Laer said.
She said only 15% of respondents had previously tested positive for the virus so “85 percent did not notice they were infected” with about half of them having had such mild symptoms that they dismissed them as a cold.
Parts of Lisbon to go back into lockdown
Reuters is reporting that people in several parts of Greater Lisbon will have to go back to staying at 凯发官网网址多少home from next week as Portuguese ities deal with a worrying wave of coronavirus on the city’s outskirts.
The government has announced that those living in the affected areas of the capital – a total of 19 civil parishes that do not include downtown Lisbon – will be allowed to leave 凯发官网网址多少home only to buy essential goods such as food or medication, and to travel to and from work.
“The only effective way to control the pandemic is to stay 凯发官网网址多少home whenever possible, keep physical distance at all times and always maintain protection and hygiene standards,” Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, told a news conference.
The measure will be in place from 29 June until 12 July and it will then be reviewed.
Portugal has reported a total of 40,415 cases and 1,549 deaths from the coronavirus, far fewer than neighbouring Spain. It has been hailed as a success story in the fight against against the disease and began lifting its lockdown on 4 May.
CDC: more than 20 million Americans may have contracted coronavirus
In addition to that Texas news, US government experts have said they believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the coronavirus, 10 times more than official counts. New data indicates that many people without symptoms have or have had the disease, senior administration officials said.
The estimate, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is based on serology testing used to determine the presence of antibodies that show whether an individual has had the disease.
The officials said the estimate was based on the number of known cases, between 2.3 million and 2.4 million, multiplied by the average rate of antibodies seen from the serology tests, about an average of 10 to 1.
“If you multiply the cases by that ratio, that’s where you get that 20 million figure,” said one official.
If true, the estimate would suggest the percentage of US deaths from the disease is lower than thought. More than 120,000 Americans have died from the disease since the pandemic erupted earlier this year.
The estimate comes as government officials note that many new cases are showing up in young people who do not exhibit symptoms and may not know they have it.
Officials said young people with no symptoms, but who are in regular contact with vulnerable populations, should proactively get tested to make sure they do not spread it.
“We have heard from Florida and Texas that roughly half of the new cases that are reported are people under the age of 35, and many of them are asymptomatic,” one official said.
The CDC has sent 40 response teams to help deal with the outbreaks, they said. More than 36,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded nationwide on Wednesday, just shy of the record 36,426 on 24 April, concentrated on states that were spared the brunt of the initial outbreak or moved early to lift restrictions aimed at curbing the virus’ spread.
Texas to halt reopening as cases soar
Texas is halting its reopening as cases of coronavirus soar. Businesses allowed to open under the previous phases of reopening can continue to operate.
A press release from the state’s Republican governor, Greg Abbott, quoted by CBS News, reads:
The State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas as the state responds to the recent increase in positive Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations
As we experience an increase in both positive Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families.
Texas, the second largest US state by population, has had one of the biggest surges in new coronavirus infections in the country. The state has reported more than 5,000 new cases for three days in a row and hit successive records for Covid-19 hospitalisations for 13 consecutive days.
The proportion of Texans testing positive for the virus has risen to 10%, one of the few states in the country with a double-digit positivity rate. This is the data released by the state’s department of health yesterday.
Canada’s emergency spending to help the country bridge the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is needed to lay the groundwork for a recovery, the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has said in response to Fitch’s downgrade of its rating.
Fitch cut Canada’s rating from “AAA” to “AA+” on Wednesday, making it the first time since August 2004 that the ratings agency did not give Canada top marks.
Iraq has registered nearly 2,500 new coronavirus cases and more than 100 deaths today, setting new records in a country whose health sector had been bracing itself for such a spike.
AFP reports that hospitals across the country have been overwhelmed over the last week by a rise in cases and deaths, after months of the virus spreading relatively slowly.
On Thursday, the health ministry said it had confirmed 2,437 new cases over the last day, bringing the total in the country to more than 39,000 – of whom about half have recovered. Another 107 people died of coronavirus-related causes, pushing the total death toll to 1,437.
Iraq had so far considered itself spared as the virus spread in other regional countries, including in neighbouring Iran where more than 10,000 have died.
But the Iraqi health sector has been worn down by years of war and poor investment and appears to be collapsing under the strain of the virus.
The Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) is in talks to test a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by Italian researchers, the dean of the Brazilian university told Reuters.
With the world’s worst outbreak outside the US, Brazil has become a key front in the global race for a vaccine, as clinical trials are likely to yield results faster in places where the virus is widespread.
“We are already in advanced discussions with Italy’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute,” the Unifesp president, Soraya Smaili, said in an interview on Wednesday. “We expect to bring it here, the accord is already moving forward and we’ll be able to do a lot of studies with this vaccine.”
Decline in cases in England has 'levelled off'
The decline in the number of people in England estimated to have Covid-19 has levelled off, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.
The ONS said its estimates suggested the percentage testing positive has “clearly decreased over time” since the first measurement on 26 April and that “this downward trend has now flattened”.
An average of 51,000 people in private households had coronavirus at any given time between 8 June and 21 June, according to new ONS estimates. This was the equivalent of 0.09% of the population, or about one in 1,100 individuals.
The ONS, which publishes data on how many people at any one time are infected with Covid-19 based on swab results from households across the country, said:
Modelling of the trend over time suggests that the decline in the number of people in England testing positive has levelled off in recent weeks.
New modelling of the incidence rate trend over time suggests that incidence appears to have decreased between mid-May and early June, but has also since levelled off.
The figures look at community infections and do not include people staying in hospitals, care 凯发官网网址多少homes or other institutional settings.
The ONS figures also suggest that between 8 June and 21 June there were an estimated four new Covid-19 infections for every 10,000 individuals per week in private households in England – the equivalent of an estimated 22,000 new cases per week.
World should build 'new normal' post-pandemic – WHO chief
The Covid-19 pandemic is subsiding in Europe, but getting worse globally with the number of infections expected to reach 10m next week and the number of deaths 500,000, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said.
Speaking via video conference with members of the European parliament’s health committee, Tedros said that once the pandemic was over, the world should not return to its previous state, but build a “new normal” that would be fairer, greener and help prevent climate change.
Spain’s government has reached an agreement with unions and the country’s main employers’ association to extend national furlough schemes, known as ERTEs, by three months until 30 September, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
Originally due to expire on 30 June, the current system of public aid had been linked to Spain’s state of emergency over the coronavirus, which ended on 22 June.
The Peruvian government on Thursday said it had struck an agreement with the country’s private health clinics on the cost of Covid-19 care after President Martín Vizcarra warned on Wednesday they would be expropriated within 48 hours if negotiations did not progress.
For three weeks the clinics had wrangled with Vizcarra’s government over a fair rate for care. The haggling began amid reports of overcharging for the sickest patients, who require mechanical ventilators and intensive care.
Reuters reports that health minister, Víctor Zamora, said the agreement was finalised on Wednesday evening after a meeting with representatives of the Association of Private Clinics of Peru. He told RPP local radio:
The important thing here is people’s health. We cannot delay treatment.
Peru’s coronavirus outbreak is second only to Brazil’s in Latin America, with 264,689 confirmed cases and 8,586 deaths.
Tourism chiefs in Cambodia say they hope officials will drop a $3,000 (£2,400) coronavirus deposit scheme under which travellers have to make a downpayment for potential medical costs – including their funeral – arguing it is likely to deter potential visitors.
The government announced earlier this month that all foreigners entering the country must have an insurance package worth $50,000 and make a deposit of $3,000 in cash or by credit card. The deposit covers possible expenses in the event a person catches Covid-19, including healthcare, laundry services, meals and a funeral.
Chhay Sivlin, the president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said the deposit was introduced because insurance companies had previously refused to cover the cost of coronavirus treatment. “Our government has exhausted our resources and can no longer provide for any tourists tested positive for the disease,” she said.