Coronavirus cases in India approach three million

  • India confirms 69,878 new infections – the fourth straight day above 60,000.

  • Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, said he would shut down the United States to contain its coronavirus outbreak if experts recommended such a measure.

  • Brazil’s COVID-19 outbreak is stabilising and any reversal of the virus’s rampant spread in the vast country would be “a success for the world”, the World Health Organization said.
  • More than 22.9 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 around the world, and more than 14.7 million have recovered. More than 799,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Saturday, August 22

    12:05 GMT – More than half of Spanish companies reopen after closing at height of pandemic

    More than half the companies in Spain which closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic have reopened, according to government data released on Saturday, suggesting the economy is recovering slowly.

    The number of companies registered to pay social security by the end of July was 1,282,346, according to figures from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, or 91,240 fewer firms than in February before the government imposed a strict lockdown to try to contain COVID-19.

    However, the statistics showed that since the easing of lockdown started in May, 49,159 companies have registered with the government. This is just over half the number which closed when the pandemic was at its height in March and April.

    11:20 GMT – France delays launch of COVID-19 economic reboot plan to September

    The French government said on Saturday it would unveil details of its 100 billion euro ($118 billion) plan to reinvigorate the economy in the first week of September, instead of next Tuesday, as it focuses on preparing the new school term.

    “The recovery plan is ready, the timetable for its implementation still stands,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal said in a statement.

    Schools are set to reopen on September 1, after most were closed during a two-month lockdown earlier this year to fight the coronavirus, and the government is working to ensure protective measures will be adequate, Attal said.

    10:45 GMT – Argentina joins Chinese coronavirus vaccine trial, maker says

    Argentina joined Peru, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates in approving Phase 3 clinical trials for a coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said late Friday.

    As China forges ahead in the global race to develop a vaccine to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and as cases within China dwindle, CNBG needs research participants from other countries for testing.

    0:10 GMT – Qatar reports 284 infections

    Qatar confirmed 284 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the country’s total to 116,765.

    The country’s public health ministry said 315 people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours. At least 113,531 recovered from coronavirus in the Middle Eastern country.

    09:40 GMT – Philippines reports 4,933 infections, 26 deaths

    The Philippines reported 4,933 infections of the new coronavirus on Saturday, the fifth straight day above 4,000, and 26 COVID-19 deaths.

    In a bulletin, the health ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 187,249 while confirmed deaths have reached 2,966.

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