Coronavirus pandemic likely to be ‘lengthy’, WHO warns

  • The World Health Organization warned the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be “lengthy”, as it met to evaluate the situation, six months after sounding the international alarm.

  • India confirmed the steepest spike of 57,118 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking its coronavirus caseload to close to 1.7 million.

  • Coronavirus deaths in Florida surged past 7,000 as the countrywide total is now more than 153,000.

  • More than 17.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus. Almost 10.3 million patients have recovered and at least 680,900 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

    Saturday, August 1

    20:20 GMT – South Africa coronavirus cases top 500,000: health ministry

    South Africa has now registered more than 500,000 cases of coronavirus, the health ministry announced.

    “Today South Africa has exceeded the half-a-million mark with a cumulative total of 503,290 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded,” Heath Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.

    20:59 GMT – Thousands of Israelis rally against Netanyahu

    Thousands protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu across Israel on night, demanding he resign over alleged corruption and a resurgence of coronavirus cases.

    Protests took place at scores of intersections and bridges, where people held banners accusing Netanyahu of “failure” and calling for his resignation, as well as outside his private residence in the northern town Caesarea.

    The main event took place outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, where organisers said thousands demanded Netanyahu step down.

    19:15 GMT – COVID-19 kills 64 more people in Iraq

    The Iraqi Health Ministry has reported 64 more people died due to the virus over the past 24 hours, pushing the nationwide death toll to 4,805.

    The virus also infected 2,094 more people, bringing the total number of cases to 126,704, including 89,275 recoveries.

    Iraq’s historic marshes: Outbreak threatens community of herders

    18:15 GMT – Arizona congressman tests positive for virus; second this week

    The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said on Saturday he tested positive for the coronavirus days after he sat close to another member of the panel, Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who also tested positive.

    Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva said in a statement that he has the virus but, like Gohmert, has no symptoms. He is at least the 11th member of Congress known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

    17:40 GMT – Ireland’s chief doctor says rise in COVID-19 infections concerning

    Ireland’s chief medical officer on Saturday described a recent spike in COVID-19 infections as “concerning”, as the average number of cases per day doubled from about 20 in recent weeks to more than 40 over the past five days.

    Ireland, which still has lower infection rates than much of Europe, reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, down from a two-month high of 85 cases on Thursday.

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