- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a mass testing plan, health experts raise doubts over the strategy.
- The Indonesian capital will go back into lockdown to contain an escalating outbreak that pushed hospitals to the brink of collapse.
- India reports a record 95,735 daily cases of coronavirus as the outbreak continues unabated.
- More than 27.89 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the coronavirus and 904,485 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Some 18.8 million people have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Thursday, September 10
14:47 GMT – Cases in UAE approach highest daily level since peak
The United Arab Emirates has announced 930 new cases of coronavirus, the third-highest daily result since the pandemic began.
A health ministry official asked the public to adhere to social distancing and avoid gatherings and mixing with people known to have the virus, which she said accounted together for about 88 percent of cases.
Until last month, cases were decreasing since new daily cases peaked at 994 in May, but numbers have surged from 164 cases on August 3.
14:41 GMT – Jordan finds three coronavirus cases in largest Syrian camp
Jordan has confirmed the first three coronavirus cases in the country’s largest camp for Syrian refugees, just a few days after discovering two cases in a smaller camp.
Two of the cases in the Zaatari camp were Jordanians who worked there and the third was a Syrian woman refugee, state-owned Mamlaka TV broadcaster quoted the governor of Mafraq area, Yasser al Adwan, as saying.
The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement the infected refugee had been sent to an isolation area and contacts were being traced. The camp hosts nearly 77,000 Syrians.
14:36 GMT – Turkey: Former parliament speaker COVID-19 positive
Former speaker of Turkish parliament Bulent Arinc has announced that he contracted the coronavirus.
Arinc said on Twitter that he and his wife Munevver Arinc tested positive for COVID-19.
They are in stable condition and the couple are in home isolation under a doctor’s supervision, he added.
14:27 GMT – Norway may have to tighten restrictions, PM says
Norway is going to stop easing coronavirus curbs for the moment and could be forced to bring back tougher measures after a recent rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Erna Solberg has said at a news conference.
The number of people allowed at public gatherings could be cut to 50 from the current 200, and the maximum permitted at private events to 5-10 people from 20 currently, Solberg said.
Universities, which reopened with in-person classes in August, could be told to return to all-online teaching, she said.
Earlier plans to allow adults outside of the professional leagues to take part in contact sports such as football, remain on hold for the time being.
Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo in Toronto, Canada taking over the live updates from my colleague Usaid Siddiqui in Doha, Qatar.
12:45 GMT – Singapore Airlines to shed 4,300 jobs due to pandemic
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said it was cutting about 4,300 jobs – about 20 percent of the workforce – due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus, and warned any recovery would be “long and fraught with uncertainty”.
SIA is the latest airline to announce massive layoffs as the global aviation industry faces its greatest-ever crisis due to travel restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus.
The city-state’s flag carrier said about 1,900 positions had already been eliminated in recent months.
12:13 GMT – Uganda to resume international flights
Uganda said it would reopen its sole international airport to commercial flights on October 1, more than five months after its closure as a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the East African nation.
The move is the latest in a series of steps by the government of President Yoweri Museveni to gradually lift one of Africa’s tightest lockdowns and rejuvenate the economy, badly hurt by the shutdown.
11:30 GMT – Head of Ukraine armed forces tests positive for COVID-19
The commander of Ukraine’s armed forces, Colonel-General Ruslan Homchak, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will spend 14 days in isolation, the country’s military said.
Ukraine has reported high COVID-19 infection levels in recent weeks. The total number of cases since the start of the pandemic now exceeds 145,000, including more than 3,000 deaths.
10:40 GMT – If trials restart, AstraZeneca may know by yearend if vaccine works
AstraZeneca should still know before the end of the year whether its experimental COVID-19 vaccine works, the drugmaker’s chief executive Pascal Soriot said, so long as it can resume trials soon.
The British company suspended late-stage trials this week after a participant in Britain reportedly suffered symptoms associated with transverse myelitis, a rare spinal inflammatory disorder.
10:14 GMT – Serum Institute puts India trials of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on hold
Serum Institute of India has put trials of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate on hold until the British drugmaker restarts the trials.
AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it had paused trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in a study participant, but its partner Serum had at the time said trials in India were ongoing.
09:40 GMT – Gaza reports 195 more coronavirus cases
The health ministry in Gaza has reported 195 new coronavirus cases and the death of a six-month-old child from the virus.
Since March, the number of infections in Gaza has risen to 1,551, including 10 deaths and 114 recoveries.
09:07 GMT – Austria reports 664 new coronavirus cases in a day, highest since March
Austria reported 664 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily increase since late March.
Of those new cases, 387 were in Vienna, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
08:30 GMT – Speak softly and scatter fewer coronavirus particles, say researchers
Quiet zones in high-risk indoor spaces could help cut coronavirus contagion, researchers have said, after a study showed that speaking softly can reduce its spread.
A reduction of 6 decibels in average speech levels can have the same effect as doubling a room’s ventilation, scientists said on Wednesday in an advance copy of a paper detailing their study.
“The results suggest that public health authorities should consider implementing ‘quiet zones’ in high-risk indoor environments, such as hospital waiting rooms or dining facilities,” wrote the six researchers from the University of California, Davis.
07:53 GMT – UK announces ‘moonshot plan’ for COVID-free passports
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday a “moonshot plan” for “COVID-free passports” that would allow people who test negative to return to normal life.
The plan involves mass testing – with results returned within about 20 minutes – a negative result allowing entry to venues such as theatres or football stadiums among others.
Reacting to Johnson’s claims, Dr Chaand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association said there were “huge problems” with lab capacity, and he was unsure whether the PM’s strategy could work.
07:25 GMT – Australia’s government clashes with states over easing restrictions as cases decline
Australia’s conservative government clashed with state lawmakers over how fast to relax coronavirus restrictions, as the number of new COVID-19 cases showed a steady decline.
In March, Australia created a national cabinet of federal, state and territory leaders to coordinate measures to control the disease, such as closing borders, suspending schools and closing businesses.
This helped Australia record far fewer infections and deaths than many other developed nations. Divisions in the national cabinet are emerging at a time when infection rates are coming down.
06:48 GMT – South Korea resurgence slowing
South Korea’s new coronavirus cases have stayed below 200 for an eighth day, suggesting the recent resurgence is slowing amid stringent distancing rules.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it recorded 155 additional cases over the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of recorded cases to 21,743, with 346 deaths, since the pandemic began.
06:15 GMT – France cannot rule out local lockdowns: adviser
Lockdowns cannot be ruled out in French regions where COVID-19 infections are spiking although authorities are striving to avoid it, a government adviser said.
“We must do everything we can to avoid local lockdown … In these (risk) regions we could look into further restrictions of big gatherings,” Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the epidemic, told RTL radio.
Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
05:20 GMT – US cases could be three to 20 times higher than publicly confirmed
A study published in Nature says the US has a “substantial underestimation” of coronavirus cases because of its restrictions on testing, and the actual figure could be three to 20 times higher.
The US mainly tests people with moderate to severe symptoms so those with mild or no symptoms are rarely tested, noted the researchers, led by Sean Wu of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, Berkeley.
The team analysed testing rates in each state between February and April and corrected for incomplete and inaccurate tests. They found discrepancies between states, with higher rates of testing in the northwest and northeast, and lower levels in the south and Midwest.
04:45 GMT – Singapore to distribute free contact-tracing tokens from Monday
Singapore is to start distributing its TraceTogether token, a contact-tracing device, from Monday. Use of the token is not mandatory, but it is free of charge to anyone who wants one.
The city-state already has a contact-tracing app, but the token, which also uses Bluetooth to track movements, does not need a smartphone. Initial distribution will be in areas with a large number of older people.
04:35 GMT – India posts another record for daily cases
India’s reported another record for daily coronavirus cases with the health ministry confirming 95,735 cases over the past 24 hours.
Some 1,172 people in India also died from the virus, the ministry said.
India has world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 cases
04:20 GMT – ‘Drug war’ killings surge in Philippines during pandemic
“Drug war” killings in the Philippines have surged during the pandemic, official data shows.
Human Rights Watch says data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed that 155 people were killed over the four months from April to July, compared with 103 between December and March.
The government has imposed a series of lockdowns and quarantines of differing severity since March 16. It says 5,810 people have died in President Duterte’s drugs crackdown since he took office in 2016, but rights groups say the actual figure is much higher.
03:05 GMT – Taoist priest honours China’s pandemic dead with memorial tablets
In a room inside a hillside Taoist monastery in China’s Shandong province is a collection of 558 memorial tablets inscribed with the names and home towns of people who died after contracting the coronavirus or while battling the pandemic.
Some, like Li Wenliang, are household names in China. Others, like Liu Hewei, are not.
“No matter what religion or beliefs they hold, their spirit deserves to be passed on. In fact, they live on in our hearts,” said Taoist priest Liang Xingyang, who started the collection on January 29, shortly after Chinese authorities announced that the virus could pass between humans.
02:40 GMT – Coronavirus might invade the brain: Preliminary study
A preliminary study has found headaches, confusion and delirium experienced by some COVID-19 patients could be the result of the coronavirus directly invading the brain.
According to the paper, which was led by Yale immunologist Akiko Iwasaki, the virus is able to replicate inside the brain, and its presence starves nearby brain cells of oxygen. The prevalence of this is not yet clear.
S Andrew Josephson, chair of the neurology department at the University of California, San Francisco, said “understanding whether or not there is direct viral involvement of the brain is extraordinarily important.” But he added that he would remain cautious until the paper underwent peer review.
02:25 GMT – Pressure in Victoria to lift nighttime curfew
Australia’s health minister says the state of Victoria should consider lifting a nighttime curfew in Melbourne if it has not been imposed for health reasons.
The state has been under pressure over the 8pm to 5am (10:00 to 19:00 GMT) curfew – one of a number of strict measures imposed to stifle a surge in coronavirus that emerged in early August – since the chief health officer told local radio he had not recommended the policy.
State premier Daniel Andrews has said the curfew was introduced to make it easier for police to enforce the other lockdown measures, which remain in force until September 28. The curfew has been fuelling a lot of discussion on social media.
The only other places I’m aware have used curfews are those with crisis-level epidemics (New York, Spain at their peak) and autocratic governments in Africa https://t.co/dvgLhS21Yz
— Max Walden (@maxwalden_) September 10, 2020
“This is an unprecedented assault on civil liberties.
“If it’s necessary … fair enough. But where’s the evidence? Where’s the advice it would be?”
Neil Mitchell understands police weren’t consulted before the introduction of the curfew. https://t.co/eiTxm4D8Vh
— 3AW Melbourne (@3AW693) September 9, 2020
I know the curfew in Melbourne has stopped me from making an 11pm Maccas run at least twice in the last 6 weeks.
So that’s good… right?
— Christopher Johnson (@Dream_Brother_) September 10, 2020
02:15 GMT – Tokyo mulls lowering alert level as cases ease
Japanese broadcaster NHK says Tokyo is considering lowering the alert level in the capital because cases are easing.
The capital is currently at the highest level.
At the national level, officials will meet on Friday to consider easing restrictions on large-scale events.
01:10 GMT – COVID-19 widens gap between rich and poor: Save the Children
In the six months since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, the most vulnerable children have disproportionately missed out on access to education, healthcare, and food, and suffered the greatest protection risks, according to a new global survey by Save the Children.
The survey, based on the experience of 25,000 children and their caregivers across 37 countries, found:
- Two-thirds of the children had no contact with teachers at all during lockdown, while eight in ten believed they had learned little or nothing since schools closed.
- Some 93 percent of households that lost over half of their incomes due to the pandemic reported difficulties in accessing health services.
- Violence at home doubled to 17 percent when schools were closed.
“To protect an entire generation of children from losing out on a healthy and stable future, the world needs to urgently step up with debt relief for low-income countries and fragile states, so they can invest in the lives of their children,” Inger Ashing, Save the Children’s CEO, said in a statement.
00:30 GMT – Jakarta heads back to lockdown amid coronavirus ’emergency’
Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan says the Indonesian capital will head back into lockdown as it steps up efforts to tackle what he said was an “emergency – more pressing than the start of the pandemic” because modelling showed the capital’s hospitals would be overwhelmed by September 17 if no action was taken
From Monday, all offices will be closed except for businesses in 11 “essential” fields. Entertainment venues will be closed and all gatherings banned. Religious events will only be allowed at the village level for people who live in the area, he added.
Indonesia has recorded 8,336 deaths from coronavirus, the most in Southeast Asia.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (September 9) here.