A global trial designed to test whether the anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent infection with COVID-19 is to restart after being approved by British regulators.
Here are the latest updates.
The United States is not on a “safe list” of destinations for non-essential travel due to be unveiled by European Union governments later on Tuesday, three diplomats have said.
The 27-member bloc is expected to give outline approval to leisure or business travel from Wednesday to 14 countries beyond its borders when they vote on the list by midday Brussels time (10:00 GMT), the diplomats said.
The countries are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay, they said.
Russia and Brazil, along with the United States, are among countries that do not make the initial “safe list”.
Spanish official statistics show that the country’s gross domestic product contracted 5.2 percent during the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, the biggest drop in at least half a century.
The National Institute of Statistics, or INE, said that the economic freeze imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus impacted the economy like never before since quarterly records began to be kept in 1970.
Several Indian cities have prepared to extend their lockdowns to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, as daily cases in the country remained close to 20,000.
India reported 18,522 new cases over the previous 24 hours, according to federal health data released on Tuesday, down slightly from Sunday’s record of 19,906.
With more than 550,000 total infections, India lags only the United States, Brazil and Russia in total cases.
The coronavirus pandemic is reversing progress on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), jeopardising the futures of millions of girls, a senior UN official has said.
“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” Natalia Kanem, head of the United Nations’ sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA said.
An additional 13 million girls could be forced into child marriage, and two million more could undergo FGM in the next decade, beyond what would have been expected, as COVID-19 disrupts global efforts to end both practices, UNFPA said.
Read more here.
Russia has reported 6,693 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking its nationwide tally to 647,849.
The country’s coronavirus response centre said 154 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 9,320.
Uzbekistan has imposed an overnight curfew in some parts of the country, including the capital Tashkent, as it seeks to curb a fresh rise in COVID-19 infections following the gradual lifting of a two-month lockdown.
The Central Asian nation had been cautiously lifting a nationwide lockdown that had been in place in April and May. However, after a decline in COVID-19 cases between mid-April and mid-May, it has once again seen a steady rise.
Hundreds of thousands of people across Melbourne’s north and west have been ordered to stay at home as Australia’s second-biggest city struggled to contain a spike in coronavirus cases.
The state of Victoria has recorded 233 COVID-19 cases since Thursday – mostly in Melbourne – a major surge in a country that has otherwise successfully curbed the spread of the virus.
State premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne would be subject to the lockdown from midnight local time Wednesday. The areas covered are home to more than 300,000 people.
Royal Dutch Shell has said it will write $22bn off the value of its assets after sharply lowering its oil and gas price outlook in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision also comes as the Anglo-Dutch company reviews its operations after CEO Ben van Beurden laid out plans in April to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Shell, which has a market value of $126.5bn , said in an update ahead of its second-quarter results on July 30 that it will take an aggregate post-tax impairment charge in the range of $15 to $22bn in the quarter.
Pakistan, one of the country’s where the coronavirus continues to spread at a rapid rate amid an almost completely loosened lockdown, registered 2,825 new cases of the virus to take its tally to 209,337.
Last week, the country saw a reduction in average daily rises in cases that medical experts say is largely due to a reduction in daily testing. On Monday, testing remained low, with 20,930 tests carried out, far below the country’s peak of 31,681 tests on June 19.
The United Kingdom will introduce legal changes shortly to enforce a lockdown imposed on the English city of Leicester where there has been a flare up of the novel coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
The city of Leicester in central England is the first area of the UK to face a targetted local coronavirus lockdown after the government began easing the nationwide lockdown earlier this month.
“We will be bringing forward a legal change very shortly, in the next couple of days, because some of the measures that we’ve unfortunately had to take in Leicester will require a legal underpinning,” Hancock told Sky.
Thailand has reported no locally-transmitted cases of coronavirus for the 36th day as a state of emergency introduced to cope with the pandemic was due to expire on Tuesday.
The country reported two new cases, both in Thais recently returned from Qatar who are now in state quarantine.
The UN is warning that the pandemic is reversing progress to tackle child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
The UNFPA, the UN’s reproductive and sexual health agency, says an extra 13 million girls could be married off and two million more endure FGM in the next 10 years because of disruption caused by the coronavirus.
“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many girls are now at risk,” UNFPA head Natasha Kanem said at the launch of a report into the “silent and endemic crisis” of harmful practices against girls and women.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights has urged Thailand not to extend the state of emergency it imposed to tackle the coronavirus.
Maria Chin Abdullah, Malaysian MP and APHR member, says the country has brought its daily number of coronavirus cases under control and, with almost all restrictions lifted, has “no reason” to justify emergency powers.
“Thailand must lift the emergency decree immediately, continue its fight against the pandemic within the usual power structure, and focus on developing an economy that closes the glaring inequalities that this virus has exposed,” Chin Abdullah said in a statement.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has 10 members, including Thailand.
China’s National Health Commission says the country had 19 new cases of coronavirus up to midnight on June 29, compared with 12 the day before.
Seven of the new cases were in Beijing, where a mass testing campaign is under way in the wake of an outbreak that began in the capital’s main wholesale food market on June 11.
Los Angeles is becoming the new coronavirus hotspot in the US as the state of California announced a record jump of 7,418 new cases on Monday.
The number in LA, the second-biggest city in the US, exceeded 100,000 despite strict curbs on nightlife and a requirement to wear masks in all public areas.
“The alarming increase in cases … signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, said in a statement.
The state of South Australia has cancelled plans to reopen its borders to interstate travellers from neighbouring Victoria after a spike in coronavirus cases there.
Restrictions were supposed to be removed on July 20.
Victoria reported 75 new cases of coronavirus on Monday. It has yet to release numbers for Tuesday.
Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has secured regulatory approval for human trials.
Phase I and II clinical trials for Covaxin, India’s first domestic candidate for a vaccine, will begin in July.
Read more on that story here.
Los Angeles is to close its beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend after reporting a record one-day rise in cases.
People usually flock to the seaside during the holiday, which marks US Independence Day.
Officials said it was too much of a risk allowing the beaches to remain open.
Due to rising #COVID19 cases all @CountyofLA beaches will be closing again temporarily this weekend, July 3rd through 6th. We had almost 3,000 reported cases just today. We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend.
— Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) June 29, 2020
The governor of the US state of Arizona has told bars, cinemas, gyms, water parks and nightclubs they have to close again.
Doug Ducey says the closures are necessary after coronavirus cases and hospitalisations reached new highs over the weekend, and he expects the numbers to get worse.
“We simply cannot let up,” he told a press briefing. “We’re not going back to normal anytime soon.”
Researchers have discovered a new type of swine flu with the potential to cause a pandemic, according to a study published in the US science journal PNAS.
G4, a flu genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused the 2009 pandemic, has “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans,” the researchers wrote.
They added that the G4 type was already predominant in pigs and that control of the infection in pigs and close monitoring of people working with the animals should be “urgently implemented”.
Read more here.
Source: Al Jazeera
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read the updates from yesterday (June 29) here.