Global Second Waves Emerge; China Cases Jump: Virus Update

Health officials across the globe are grappling with second waves of the coronavirus pandemic, with outbreaks from China to Spain serving as reminders of the difficulty in permanently stamping out the pathogen.

China reported the most domestic cases since it brought an initial outbreak in Wuhan under control, amid flareups in the north and northeast. Australia’s Victoria state confirmed a record 532 new infections, Vietnam saw its first cases in more than three months, and North Korea locked down a city after it found a person who may be infected.

In Europe, Spain is scrambling to stay ahead of new outbreaks that prompted the U.K. to impose a quarantine on travelers returning from the country. Cases and fatalities fell in many U.S. states hit hard by the coronavirus, including Florida, Arizona, California and Texas — though reported numbers are often incomplete on weekends.

Koike Says Tokyo Didn’t Find Many New Cases (10:43 a.m. HK)

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said not many coronavirus cases were confirmed on Monday due to fewer tests, according to remarks streamed by broadcaster NHK.

The government plans to convene a virus panel meeting this week to analyze the epidemic and draft responses. Tokyo found 239 new cases Sunday, marking the sixth straight day in which the number topped 200.

The government plans to ask businesses to have 70% of their work force adopt telecommuting as the coronavirus epidemic widens, Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a news conference Sunday, Jiji reported.

Australia’s Victoria Reports Record 532 New Cases (9:10 a.m. HK)

Australia’s Victoria state recorded 532 new Covid-19 cases as authorities struggle to bring a second wave of infections under control.

The daily tally announced Monday follows the 459 new cases reported the previous day in Victoria, and is a new national record. There were six additional fatalities, State Premier Daniel Andrews said at a press conference.

Authorities are battling to contain a fresh wave of infections after about 5 million people in Melbourne were plunged back into lockdown more than two weeks ago.

China Local Cases Jump Most Since Mid-March (8:49 a.m. HK)

China reported 61 new coronavirus cases, with local infections jumping by 57, the most since it brought an initial outbreak that emerged in Wuhan under control in mid-March.

The far west province of Xinjiang, which last week suspended buses and subways in its capital city Urumqi, reported 41 local coronavirus cases.

The coastal city of Dalian in northeast China is also seeing a jump in infections. The port city is taking a targeted approach similar to what Beijing employed to tame the outbreak. It has escalated the risk levels of infected neighborhoods to high and medium and barred residents there from leaving the city. Dalian has also launched mass testing to track down infections, and is tracking seafood products processed by the Dalian Kaiyang World Seafood Co., where the first infection was reported.

Brazil’s Reported Virus Numbers Drop (7:25 a.m. HK)

Mineirao Stadium Disinfection Prior to the Sunday Soccer Match Amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
A worker sanitizes the goal posts at Mineiro Stadium on July 25.Photographer: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Brazil, which has the world’s worst virus outbreak after the U.S., registered 24,578 new cases and 555 deaths, the Health ministry said. That’s half of the 51,147 cases and 1,211 deaths reported the previous day.

Total cases are now 2.4 million, with 87,004 deaths as the infection curve continues to show an increasing overall trend. Most cities are relaxing social isolation measures and reopening for business after the economy plunged in the beginning of the second quarter.

Morocco Locks Down Cities (6:20 a.m. HK)

Moroccan authorities imposed lockdowns on the country’s biggest cities, including Casablanca, Fez, Tangier and Marrakesh, to counter a “considerable increase” in Covid-19 cases across the country, according to the Health Ministry. Exemptions apply, including for deliveries of essential supplies and urgent medical care.

Texas Cases, Deaths Slow (5:01 p.m. NY)

Texas reported 5,810 new cases, the smallest increase in two weeks, and down from 6,020 reported the previous day. The state now has 381,656 confirmed cases of the virus.

Another 153 deaths were reported, the lowest since July 21 and also fewer than the 168 reported the previous day, the Department of State Health Services said on its website. The number of fatalities stands at 5,038.

Mexico Raises Death Toll 55% for March-June (3:15 p.m. NY)

Mexico is raising its estimate for the death toll for about two-thirds of the country by 55% between mid-March and late June, according to health officials.

A worker checks a patient at the Covid-19 area at a hospital in Mexico City, on July 20.Photographer: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

The Latin American nation said in 20 out of 32 states alone, fatalities from Covid-19 and other causes increased by 71,315 to a total of 202,077 from March 15 to June 27. That compares with the 130,763 earlier expected, according to a report by the health ministry on Saturday.

A total of 43,374 have died in Mexico from coronavirus, the fourth-highest number of fatalities globally. The total number of cases has risen to 385,036.

California Cases, Deaths Slow (2:25 p.m. NY)

California reported fewer Covid-19 cases and deaths when compared with the 14-day average, according to the state health department’s website.

There were 8,259 positive cases on Sunday, below both the 14-day average of 9,421 and the 10,666 reported the day before. There have been 453,659 confirmed cases overall. The number of fatalities increased by 79, lower than the 14-day daily average of 98 and also below the 151 reported the previous day. A total of 8,416 people have died.

Gottlieb Sees Bright Spots in Texas, Arizona (2:10 p.m. NY)

There are “unmistakable signs” the pandemic is slowing in Texas and Arizona, with California and Florida trends a bit more mixed, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS. Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, along with Washington DC, are “heating up,” he warned.

Gottlieb said a “trifecta of activity” by Republican Governor Doug Ducey in Arizona was having an impact and suggested other states followed suit. Ducey’s approach includes a mask mandate, shutting bars and movie theaters and limiting the number of people in restaurants.

Also, “collective action on the part of businesses” to enforce mask wearing is gathering pace and is a way around the politicized nature of masks, he said.

L.A. Needs Stay-At-Home: Lawmaker (1:15 p.m. NY)

People cross the street in Huntington Beach, California, on July 19.Photographer: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Los Angeles County should reissue a stay-at-home order and be “very, very conservative” about reopening, California Democrat Karen Bass said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“In hindsight, I think that we opened a little too quickly,” said Bass, whose congressional district is in the county. “If I were in charge of L.A. County, I would go back to that.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has said that another stay-at-home order is an option. The city has faced a renewed onslaught of the coronavirus, especially among lower-income residents, factories and communities of color.

Arizona Reports Fewer Deaths, Cases (12:53 p.m. NY)

Arizona reported 19 more Covid-19 deaths, compared with a near-record 144 a day earlier, raising the state’s toll to 3,305. Reported new cases slowed to 1,973, a 1.2% rise that’s less than the average daily increase of 1.8% over the last week. Total cases are now 162,014.

U.K. to Pause Death Toll Count (12:36 p.m. NY)

The U.K. will pause reporting on coronavirus deaths while it reviews how they are counted.

Last week, the government said deaths in England were attributed to coronavirus if the deceased had had the disease at any time. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would only record deaths as virus-related if the patient had a positive test within the preceding 28 days.

The U.K. has reported the most Covid-19 deaths in Europe. The toll rose to 45,752 on Sunday.

Florida Deaths, Cases Slow (12:15 p.m. NY)

US Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams Visits COVID-19 Testing Site In Miami
A health care worker shows a person how to use a nasal swab for a self administered test in Miami, July 23.Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida reported 9,344 new virus cases, a drop from the previous day when it overtook New York to have the second-most infections infections after California. The 2.3% rise was less than the 3.3% average daily increase of the previous week. Total cases are now 423,855.

Deaths among residents slowed again, to 77 from 124 the day before.

New York Reports Three Deaths (11:50 a.m. NY)

New York reported 536 new cases, a 0.1% rise that’s lower than the 0.2% average increase over the previous week. Another three people died, fewer than the 10 reported the day before. The single-day record was 799 deaths in April. Hospitalizations remained steady at 646.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said that people visiting from other states with higher infection rates are now the major source of new cases in New York. He added that investigators have found “blatant disregard” at bars and restaurants downstate and this weekend issued 105 violations.

Iraq Plans to Impose 10-Day Curfew (10:00 a.m. NY)

Iraq plans to impose a 10-day curfew from the end of this month in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during the Islamic Eid holidays. The curfew will start on July 30 and the government will review the situation at the end of the holidays. Iraq has been reporting coronavirus cases of over 2,000 a day and the country’s total number of infections is above 100,000 so far.

Spain Pushes U.K. to Ease Travel Rules (9:25 a.m. NY)

Spain is a safe country and is making great efforts to contain coronavirus outbreaks, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said in statement in response to new U.K. restrictions.

The government is trying to convince the U.K. to exempt the Canary and Balearic islands from the rules imposed Saturday after new virus cases jumped, primarily in northern Spain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is requiring anyone returning from Spain to quarantine for 14 days, reversing a safe-destination designation that prompted a surge in vacation bookings by U.K. travelers.

U.S. Pace of New Cases Slows (8:00 a.m. NY)

U.S. confirmed cases rose by 65,965 in the latest daily count, a 1.6% increase that’s less than the 1.8% average over the previous seven days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Johns Hopkins University. Deaths rose by 921, breaking a four-day streak of more than 1,000 deaths per day.

Iran on Red Alert (6:00 a.m. NY)

Iran reported 216 fatalities and 2,333 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 15,700 from 291,172 known cases.

The level of infection is “red” over most of Iran, as one in five deaths in the country is linked to Covid-19, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on state TV.

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