UK lowers coronavirus alert level

  • The United Kingdom’s chief medical officers have agreed to lower the country’s coronavirus alert level from four to three.

  • New confirmed cases of coronavirus remain stable in Beijing as officials say situation is under control.

  • German biopharmaceutical company CureVac has started a clinical trial for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

  • In Honduras, President Juan Orlando Hernandez became the latest world leader to be hospitalised after testing positive for the coronavirus.
  • More than 454,000 people have died as a result of the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 8.4 million people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus around the world and more than four million have recovered.

    Friday, June 19

    11:35 GMT – Indonesia records more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases 

    Indonesia reported 1,041 new coronavirus infections, taking its total number of cases to 43,803.

    Health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said there were 34 more deaths reported, with total fatalities now at 2,373, the highest coronavirus death toll in East Asia outside of China.

    So far, 366,581 people have been tested, according to the country’s COVID-19 task force

    11:05 – Qatar reports seven coronavirus deaths

    Qatar’s public health ministry has confirmed seven coronavirus deaths in the country in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 93.

    At least 1,021 people contracted the virus in that period, the ministry said, increasing the total to 85,462. 

    10:05 GMT – German coronavirus tracing app downloaded almost 10 million times

    Germany’s smartphone app to help trace coronavirus infections has been downloaded 9.6 million times, a government spokeswoman said.

    The app, which SAP and Deutsche Telekom helped develop, was launched earlier this week. 

    09:30 GMT – UK lowers coronavirus alert level

    The United Kingdom’s chief medical officers have agreed to lower the country’s coronavirus alert level.

    The Joint Biosecurity Centre reduced the COVID-19 alert level from Level 4 to 3, meaning the epidemic is in general circulation but transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially.

    “There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues,” the chief medical officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland said.

    “It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.” 

    09:00 GMT – Coronavirus already in Italy by December: study

    The coronavirus was already present in two large cities in northern Italy in December, more than two months before the first case was detected, a national health institute study of waste water has found.

    Researchers discovered genetic traces of Sars-Cov-2, as the virus is officially known, in samples of waste water collected in Milan and Turin at the end of last year, and Bologna in January, the ISS institute said in a statement seen by AFP news agency.

    Italy’s first known native case was discovered mid-February.

    08:30 GMT – China’s Clover begins human trials of coronavirus vaccine

    A potential coronavirus vaccine being developed by China’s Clover Biopharmaceuticals using GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine booster is now in early-stage testing in humans, the companies said.

    Initial safety data from the trial, which is enrolling about 150 adults and also investigating the vaccine in combination with Dynavax’s adjuvant, is expected in August this year, Clover said.

    08:00 GMT – India’s Modi says yoga a ‘protective shield’ against coronavirus

    India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extolled yoga as a way of building a “protective shield” of immunity against the coronavirus, as his nation battles a surge in infections.

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