- Global coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million people have died from the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
- Pakistan’s COVID-19 cases have passed the 200,000 mark after 3,602 new infections were reported on Sunday.
- The US health secretary Alex Azar has warned the “window is closing” for decisive action to curb the virus as cases there surge.
- The Australian state of Victoria has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours – the highest daily count in two months. Its top health official says the number is “absolutely concerning”.
Source: Al Jazeera
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, June 29
07:05 GMT – Labour leader: PM Johnson ‘asleep at the wheel’
British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said on Monday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been asleep at the wheel during the coronavirus crisis and had been far too slow to make major decisions.
“I think the prime minister has been asleep at the wheel, he has been slow, the comms, the communications has been terrible,” Starmer told ITV. “It began to break down frankly when Dominic Cummings put forward a ridiculous defence of what he had done in the north east.”
“They haven’t done the groundwork on test, trace and isolate,” Starmer said.
In Europe, only Russia has reported more cases than the UK [Isla Binnie/Reuters]
06:45 GMT – EU’s recovery fund must include substantial grants: IMF
A substantial part of the European Union’s package of measures to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic must consist of grants rather than loans, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist told Der Spiegel.
“Otherwise it will not promote economic recovery,” Gita Gopinath was quoted as saying by the German magazine on Monday.
EU leaders agreed in April to build an emergency fund to help the 27-nation bloc rebound from the pandemic, but the final details have yet to be agreed.
06:30 GMT – Czech Republic records highest daily cases since April 3
The daily number of new coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic rose by 305, the highest since April 3, Health Ministry data showed on Monday.
That is the fourth straight daily rise and brings the total number of cases to 11,603. There have been 348 deaths in the country of 10.7 million.
Health Minister Adam Vojtech said on Sunday that the bulk of the new cases have been in a mining region in the east of the country.
06:00 GMT – Pakistan coronavirus cases pass the 200,000 mark
In Pakistan, coronavirus cases crossed the 200,000 mark on Sunday with 3,602 new infections reported, taking the total tally to 206,512.
At least 49 deaths were reported taking the overall toll to 4,245.
On Sunday, 23,009 tests were carried out, far below the WHO-recommended levels of 50,000 per day.
05:50 GMT –
Hello, this is Hamza Mohamed in Doha, Qatar taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
05:30 GMT – Qatar to further ease coronavirus curbs
Qatar is to further ease coronavirus curbs from July 1, allowing the limited reopening of restaurants, beaches and parks.
The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management says public and private gatherings involving a maximum of five people would be allowed, and offices would be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
The next phase of reopening – including flights from low-risk countries – is scheduled for August 1.
05:15 GMT – Thailand records 35th day without community transmission
Thailand has reported its 35th day without community transmission.
The Southeast Asian nation added seven new cases on Monday, all of them in Thais returning from overseas – on this occasion from India and the US.
02:45 GMT – School building boom for post-COVID UK
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to set out plans for a 10-year rebuilding programme for schools in England, a December election promise derailed by the coronavirus.
“As we bounce back from the pandemic, it’s important we lay the foundations for a country where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, with our younger generations front and centre of this mission,” Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson’s Conservatives were returned to power with a large majority in December, taking many seats that traditionally vote Labour, but its handling of the pandemic has eaten into its support.
UK schools have suffered badly under the severe spending cuts introduced after the financial crisis in 2009. More on the spending plans here.
The UK government is trying to look beyond the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 43,000 people in the country, with a promise to rebuild England’s schools [Eddie Keogh/Reuters]
02:30 GMT – ‘Absolutely concerning’: Spike in cases in Australia’s Victoria state
The state of Victoria in southern Australia has found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, something its Chief Medical Officer Brett Sutton has described as “absolutely concerning”.
The state has already embarked on a testing blitz, but Sutton says social distancing measures could also be reintroduced in the form of localised lockdowns.
“We have to do whatever is required to turn this around,” he told reporters.
Monday’s daily cases are the highest in two months.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said Victoria’s 75 new COVID-19 cases are “absolutely concerning” and the state’s coronavirus situation would “get worse before it gets better”. Read more: https://t.co/ACsASb1uY7 pic.twitter.com/jiik92KuxX
— The Age (@theage) June 29, 2020
02:00 GMT – China adds 12 new cases, compared with 17 on Sunday
China has reported 12 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, including five imported cases.
The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing.
About a third of the city’s 20 million people have been tested for the virus since an outbreak tracked to the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.
The first two #Foton vehicles to facilitate #COVID19 nucleic acid tests have been put into operation in #Beijing‘s Chaoyang and Xicheng districts. Each vehicle has four sampling points and each point is capable of testing 100 people within one hour. pic.twitter.com/B02hDKSmLs
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 29, 2020
01:45 GMT – Korea reports 42 new cases, concern over clusters
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has just announced 42 new cases of coronavirus – 30 of them local.
That is lower than the numbers reported over the weekend, but Yonhap news agency says South Korean authorities are concerned about continued clusters of infection, particularly in churches.
On Sunday, South Korea announced a three-level social distancing programme. The country is currently at Level 1, the lowest level. It will increase to Level 2 if the number of cases exceeds 50 for 14 days.
00:30 GMT – US accounts for a quarter of deaths as global toll passes half a million
The most recent numbers from Johns Hopkins show the death toll now stands at 501,206 since the first cases emerged in China late last year.
The US accounts for about a quarter of all deaths. Below are the five countries that have recorded the worst death tolls:
- US – 125,768
- Brazil – 57,622
- UK – 43,634
- Italy – 34,738
- France – 29,781
More than 10.1 million people have been diagnosed with the disease.
23:30 GMT (Sunday) – LA bars told to close again after cases surge
Bars in Los Angeles and six other counties in California – together home to about 13.5 million people – have been ordered to close again after a surge in coronavirus cases.
Bars reopened on June 19.
NEW: Due to the rising spread of #COVID19, CA is ordering bars to close in Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, San Joaquin, and Tulare, while recommending they close in Contra Costa, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, & Ventura.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 28, 2020
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry reporting from Kuala Lumpur.
Read the updates from yesterday (June 28) here.