- United States health officials believe as many as 20 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus. That’s nearly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed.
- The pandemic is getting worse globally, with the number of infections expected to reach 10 million next week, World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said.
- More than 9.6 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while nearly 4.8 million have recovered, and more than 489,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Friday, June 26
08:15 GMT – Vietnam PM warns of economic calamity at ASEAN summit
Vietnam warned the virus pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as Southeast Asian leaders met online for a summit also dominated by anxiety over Beijing’s moves in the flashpoint South China Sea.
“It has swept away the successes of recent years… threatening the lives of millions of people,” Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a sobering opening address.
He emphasised the “serious consequences” of the pandemic for economic development among ASEAN’S members.
ASEAN General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi confirmed the bleak outlook, warning the region’s economy is expected to contract for the first time in 22 years.
08:12 GMT – Russia reports lowest daily rise in cases since late April
Russia on Friday reported 6,800 new coronavirus cases, the first daily rise below 7,000 since late April, taking its nationwide tally to 620,794.
The country’s coronavirus response centre said 176 people had died of the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 8,781.
07:50 GMT – How the coronavirus crisis exposes India’s social inequalities
Under India’s healthcare system, everyone should be able to receive either free or highly subsidised care at those public hospitals depending on their income.
But the system has been chronically underfunded, meaning government hospitals are overburdened and patients often face days-long waits for even basic treatments.
06:53 GMT – Australia gets second wave of toilet paper hoarding
Australia’s supermarket chains reintroduced purchase limits on toilet paper and other household items as a spike in coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria set off a fresh round of panic-buying over fears of a new stay-at-home order.
Woolworths Group Ltd and Coles Group Ltd, which together account for two-thirds of Australian grocery sales, said they were once again limiting purchases of toilet paper and paper towels to one or two packs per person after photos circulated on social media showing empty shelves in stores.
With only 7,500 cases in total and 104 deaths, Australia has been easing restrictions on movement, but a string of double-digit increases in cases in the second-most populous state, Victoria, led to a pause in the reopening there – and prompted shoppers to hoard.
06:44 GMT – Pakistan’s coronavirus testing continue to fall
Testing has continued to fall in Pakistan, one of the country’s with the fastest rates of growth of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, Pakistan tested 21,041 patients, of whom 2,775 tested positive, a test-positive rate of 13 percent. Pakistan’s countrywide tally of cases rose to 195,745 cases on Thursday, with 59 deaths taking the death toll to 4,037.
Sindh and Punjab provinces, the country’s two most populous regions, appear to be the main areas where testing has dropped, according to government data.
Testing in Sindh has roughly halved over the course of this week to 6,458 tests, while in Punjab testing remains at a level more than 2,000 tests below its peak.
05:49 GMT – Millions of Yemeni children ‘may starve amid pandemic’
Millions of children could be pushed to the brink of starvation as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across war-torn Yemen amid a “huge” drop in humanitarian aid funding, the UN children’s agency warned.
The stark prediction comes in a new UNICEF report, “Yemen five years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19.” It said the number of malnourished Yemeni children could reach 2.4 million by the end of the year, a 20 percent increase in the current figure.
“As Yemen’s devastated health system and infrastructure struggle to cope with coronavirus, the already dire situation for children is likely to deteriorate considerably,” UNICEF warned.
“If we do not receive urgent funding, children will be pushed to the brink of starvation and many will die,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF’s representative to Yemen. “The international community will be sending a message that the lives of children … simply do not matter.”