Iran says not possible to shut economy

  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said it was not possible to shut down the country’s economy despite the surge in coronavirus cases.

  • India’s coronavirus cases surged past 800,000 with the biggest single-day spike of 27,114 cases, causing multiple states to impose lockdowns in high-risk areas.

  • More than 12.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than 559,000 have died, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 6.8 million patients have recovered.

    Saturday, July 11

    15:00 GMT – India’s Biocon secures approval use drugs on COVID-19 patients

    India’s Biocon Ltd has received regulatory approval for its drug Itolizumab to be used on coronavirus infected patients suffering from moderate to severe respiratory distress, the biopharmaceutical company said in a statement.

    The drugm which is also used to cure the skin disease psoriasis, was cleared by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for usage in India.

    “The randomised control trial indicated that all patients treated with Itolizumab responded postiively and recovered,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the firm’s executive chairperson.

    14:44 GMT – Parma staff member becomes first virus case since Seria A restart

    A member of the first team staff at Parma has tested positive for COVID-19, the Serie A club said, adding that all squad staff and players have returned negative results.

    It was the first case of the new coronavirus at any of the 20 football clubs since Seria A restarted on June 19.

    “The person is completely asymptomatic and was promptly isolated according to federal and ministerial directives,” the club said in a statement, without giving the person’s identity or area of work.

    13:55 GMT – Bill Gates ‘optimistic’ about coronavirus battle

    US billionaire Bill Gates said he was “optimistic” about the battle against COVID-19 and called for medicines and vaccines to be distributed to those who need them rather than to the “highest bidders”.

    Gates’ foundation pledged $7.4bn to global vaccines alliance Gavi in June to help immunisation programmes disrupted by coronavirus.

    “If we just let drugs and vaccines go to the highest bidders, instead to the people in the place where they are most needed, we will have a longer and more unjust, deadlier pandemic,” said the Microsoft founder in Saturday’s video message to a virtual international conference on COVID-19 and AIDS.

    Hello, this is Linah Alsaafin in Doha taking over from my colleague Usaid Siddiqui.

    12:42 GMT – Dubai announces new economic support package, worth over $400 million

    Dubai has announced a new package to help the economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, worth 1.5 billion dirhams ($408 million), the crown prince of the emirate, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter.

    The package is the third announced by Dubai, the second-largest and wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation. The three packages are worth a total of 6.3 billion dirhams, Sheikh Hamdan said.

    12:20 GMT – Vietnam’s most critical patient leaves hospital

    A British pilot, known as “Patient 91″, who was Vietnam’s most critical COVID-19 patient was discharged from hospital after being declared virus free.

    Accompanied by a group of doctors, the Scottish man left Cho Ray Hospital for Ho Chi Minh city airport, where he is set to fly back to Britain via Hanoi and Frankfurt.

    “I’m overwhelmed by the generosity of the Vietnamese people, the dedication and professionalism of the doctors and nurses,” the man said in a video released by the hospital, where he was last treated.

    11:55 GMT – Serbia arrests 71 over virus protest violence, including Briton

    Serbian police said they have arrested 71 people, including a Briton and a Tunisian, after violence broke out during a protest in Belgrade against the government’s management of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Thousands of people demonstrated in several Serbian cities on Friday for a fourth day in row, with protesters hurling stones at police in front of parliament in the capital.

    Fourteen police officers were injured in Friday’s clashes, and 130 since the protests began on Tuesday, the police chief said. No figures have been given for the number of injured protesters.

    11:32 GMT – Iran’s president calls for ban on weddings, wakes to halt virus spread

    Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for big gatherings such as weddings and wakes to be banned to stem a rise in coronavirus infections, but insisted the country’s economy had to stay open.

    Shortly after Rouhani’s televised speech, a police official in Tehran announced the closure of all wedding and mourning venues in the capital until further notice.

    11:10 GMT – FC Zurich football club finds several positive tests for COVID-19

    Swiss top-flight football club FC Zurich found a number of COVID-19 cases among their squad and staff after defender Mirlind Kryeziu tested positive, the club said, raising questions about whether they will be able to complete the season.

    The club had said on Friday that the 23-year-old defender had tested positive and that, after discussions with the local health authority, the squad had been quarantined until July 17.

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